Ranking Member Scott Votes “NO” on Republican Bill to Make School Meals Less Healthy

“Nutrition standards must be guided by scientists—not politicians.”

WASHINGTON – Today, Ranking Member Robert C. “Bobby" Scott delivered the following floor remarks in opposition to House Republicans’ H.R. 1147, which would ignore the latest child nutrition science and add whole milk and reduced-fat milk to school meal offerings.

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View Ranking Member Scott’s floor remarks on YouTube.

“School meals are critical in reducing child hunger and providing children with the healthy foods they need. Milk, offered as part of these meals, can help deliver essential nutrients that are vital to a child’s development. That is why it is so important that we provide students with the most nutritious milk options.

“Child nutrition standards for school meals, including milk options, are guided by the science-based Dietary Guidelines for Americans, or the DGAs, which are periodically updated based on recommendations from child nutrition experts and input from the public.

“The latest DGAs—along with the American Heart Association, American Academy of Pediatrics, the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, and over a dozenother public health advocates—agree that fat-free and low-fat milk are the healthiest options for children.

“Regrettably, H.R. 1147 attempts to legislate nutrition standards and disregard evidence-based recommendations made by the DGAs. Furthermore, the bill would undermine the Biden administration’s ongoing rulemaking to better align school nutrition standards with the latest science.

“This bill would allow schools participating in the National School Lunch Program to offer whole milk and reduced-fat milk, violating the current science-based standards that protect children’s health.

“Whole milk contains far more saturated fat, cholesterol, and calories than fat-free and low-fat milk.  Conversely, fat-free and low-fat milk offer the same vital nutrients—including calcium, vitamin D, vitamin A, protein, and potassium—as whole milk. 

“Nutrition standards must be guided by scientists—not politicians.  If someone wants to offer one study or another to be considered, use the DGA process, not the political process.  This bill needlessly inserts politics into a science-based process.

“Lastly, I am disappointed by the Majority’s decision to depart from precedent by moving a child nutrition bill outside of a comprehensive child nutrition reauthorization.

“Rather than improve our nation’s child nutrition programs holistically, the Majority has decided to prioritize interfering with evidence-based nutrition standards for our children’s school meals.

“For that reason, Mr. Chairman, I oppose the bill and reserve the balance of my time.”

Read a fact sheet on H.R. 1147 here.


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