Dairy Industry Warns About Nutrition Consequences of Proposed Rule for the Women, Infants and Children (WIC) Food Packages

Nutrient Rich.com:

We are commenting on this press release below, for one simple reason: To demonstrate the trend to truly Nutrient Rich foods as they are defined here at Nutrient Rich.com and not loosely defined in the market to promote just about any kind of food.

In this case, dairy foods are the subject. They may be rich in calcium and magnesium, two important nutrients, but as a whole they are nutrient poor, given what they don’t contain and what they contain that we don’t need.

Read the press release below, and notice, that the reasons for USDA’s change where not merely because of budget, they were prompted by the need for women, children and infants to eat healthier Nutrient Rich foods.

Of course the dairy industry is going to be disappointed, as any industry would be if it were losing millions of dollars, but a trend is a trend and now even the government is sending the message.

Note: Nutrient Rich maintains a flexitarian point of view as people define their own diets, at any given time, based on a number of factors; one of which, is where they are in the transition process to eating better. What we are concerned with here at Nutrient Rich.com is whether your diet is Nutrient Rich or nutrient poor based on sound standards.

Press release

Monday August 7, 4:00 pm ET

WASHINGTON, Aug. 7 /PRNewswire/ — The International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA) and the National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF), the leading U.S. dairy industry trade associations, expressed concern today over a proposal that would cut the availability of affordable, nutrient-rich milk and milk products to disadvantaged families under the Women, Infants and Children (WIC) supplemental feeding program.

The proposed rule was issued today by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA); IDFA and NMPF will further express their concerns during the 90-day comment period that begins today.

"We’re disappointed that budgetary constraints are leading USDA to a decision to cut the amount of dairy foods available to some of our neediest Americans," said NMPF President and CEO Jerry Kozak. "Even under the current program, many WIC participants do not get recommended levels of key nutrients that are easily included in the diet with milk and cheese products. Those levels would be further diminished under this proposal."

"In its 2005 Dietary Guidelines, USDA recognized the need for women and children to get more calcium, potassium and magnesium in their diets; this proposal moves us in the opposite direction," added IDFA President and CEO Connie Tipton. "There is a very real, negative nutritional effect that a reduction in dairy servings would have on program participants."

Nutrient Rich.com: Actually it doesn’t because all of these nutrients are easily found in fruits and vegetables along with a wide array of other nutrients that all comes packaged in these natural foods, without the need to "skim" saturated fat.

USDA proposed the changes based on recommendations from the Institute of Medicine (IOM) to add more fruits, vegetables and whole grains to the WIC package. In an effort to maintain the same program cost, USDA has proposed reducing the amount of dairy and other food products.

According to data from USDA and IOM, WIC program participants already often lack adequate levels of key nutrients like calcium, potassium and magnesium, which are readily found in one source: dairy products.

nutrientrich.com: This is misleading. They are not saying only one source, they are saying "one source" to get you to believe that. Again, you can get all of these nutrients from other foods sources, such as fruits and vegetables. This is "creative" press release writing.

"WIC participants will not be able to achieve a healthy diet on dairy foods alone, but certainly cutting back on dairy only aggravates the problem," noted Tipton.

nutrientrich.com: Actually it will help the problem, when you consider the saturated fat, the drugs, and the lower nutrient per calorie ratio of dairy products, as well as the detrimental quality of the protein source casein (for humans), found in dairy products and its affect on health. See The China Study Top 12 Findings. Download the report.

Calcium intake is significantly inadequate for women participants in WIC across all age groups, and magnesium deficiencies are almost universal among 14-to-18-year-old participants. Milk and cheese are leading sources of calcium and magnesium in the diet.

nutrientrich.com: Greens are a better source, such as kale for example. You don’t trade off getting a few nutrients for clogging your arteries.  

While calcium intake for children ages 1-4 is adequate in the WIC program, their intake of potassium is consistently below adequate levels. That finding is true for all groups of women in the WIC program, as well. Milk is a leading source of potassium in the U.S. diet.

nutrientrich.com: That’s the point, WI&C aren’t eating enough fruits and vegetables, and other Nutrient Rich whole foods. If they can’t achieve a healthy diet on dairy products alone, that’s a clue that they are nutrient poor. You can acheive a healthy diet with fruits and vegetables which should explain why they are Nutrient Rich and why the government is changing the budget to include more of them and less of the dairy products. Science has proven that you don’t need dairy products for calcium… there are healthier sources you want to eat first to get these nutrients.

IDFA and NMPF will be highlighting these and other ramifications of the proposal in detailed comments to USDA.

The International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA), Washington, DC, represents the nation’s dairy manufacturing and marketing industries and their suppliers, with a membership of 530 companies representing a $90-billion a year industry. IDFA is composed of three constituent organizations: the Milk Industry Foundation (MIF), the National Cheese Institute (NCI), and the International Ice Cream Association (IICA). IDFA’s 220 dairy processing members run more than 600 plant operations, and range from large multi- national organizations to single-plant companies. Together they represent more than 85% of the milk, cultured products, cheese and frozen desserts produced and marketed in the United States. IDFA can be found online at http://www.idfa.org.

The National Milk Producers Federation, based in Arlington, VA, develops and carries out programs and policies that advance the well-being of U.S. dairy producers and the cooperatives they collectively own. The members of NMPF’s 34 cooperatives produce the majority of the U.S. milk supply, making NMPF the voice of nearly 50,000 dairy producers on Capitol Hill and with government agencies. For more on NMPF’s activities, visit our website at http://www.nmpf.org.


Source: International Dairy Foods Association



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