Miller, Smullen make pitch for milk, bill

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ALBANY — Assemblyman Brian Miller, R-101, New Hartford, and fellow Assemblyman Robert Smullen, R-118, Gloversville, are calling for the passage of Miller’s bill, A.9990, which would allow schools to purchase whole and 2% milk from local dairy producers.

The federal government banned the sale of these kinds of milk, saying they were too high in fat and were the cause of childhood obesity and type-2 diabetes, Miller said; however, since the implementation of the policy, there has been no measurable improvement due to the milk ban. Studies are showing instead that whole and 2% milk have a positive and desirable impact on childhood health, he added.

“So much of what a child needs to grow healthy and strong can be found in whole and 2% milk. There is no measurable reason to keep this nutritious food out of the hands of children,” said Miller. “By allowing schools to purchase whole and 2% milk, we’d not only be helping growing children, but we’d also be helping local family dairy farms. It’s time to get this passed, now.”

Often unknown, whole milk is actually 97% fat-free and offers 13 essential nutrients, vitamins, minerals, and fat critical to growing healthy bodies in children, Miller said.

More current studies are discovering whole and 2% milk consumption in children reduces risk of heart disease and type-2 diabetes, lowers blood pressure, increases satiety without causing weight gain, and improves sleep, he added.

Added Smullen, “While the federal prohibition on these milk options may have been well-intentioned at the time, new science shows that whole and 2% milk has myriad health benefits and children and parents should have the option to make their own dietary choices.”

“Giving our schools this option back is a win-win-win for students, teachers, and especially our farmers who rely on the sale of whole milk to schools to remain viable,” said Smullen. “Well-nourished students make healthier and better performing students, and I am calling on Democrats in the [state] Legislature to join us and pass this legislation before session adjourns for the summer this week.”

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