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All State Run Schools Are To Ban Whole Milk To Children

A new ruling that has been announced states that all the state schools are to be banned from serving whole milk to children from September onwards//. This is part of their drive against obesity.

All state schools in England must offer only semi-skimmed or skimmed milk to pupils aged 3 to 18. The ruling also applies to the milk served during school lunches and at break times, and to cartons sold in vending machines.

This ban was approved by the Food Standards Agency and was included in the nutritional standards for schools announced by Alan Johnson, the Education Secretary, last week. Though the focus at that time was regarding the ban on junk foods at school, it has now been extended to whole milk as well. Whole milk contains about 3 to 3.5 per cent fat, semi-skimmed 1.5 to 1.8 per cent fat and skimmed less than 0.5 per cent.

It is expected that Mr Johnson will almost certainly faced with demands for a justification on the ban of whole milk during education questions in the Commons today. Dairy UK, which represents milk processors, has immediately questioned the decision and industry chiefs have asked Mr Johnson to think again.

The National Farmers Union felt that it was a matter for dairy processors and so did not affect farmers. But some of them like Derek Mead, a dairy farmer for 50 years, and the Somerset delegate on the NFU council, were outraged. He claimed to find this ban totally unacceptable that full milk is now being linked with junk food. He further explained that most people after the war grew up on almost a pint a day and children then seemed very healthy then and there was no obesity crisis. He questioned as to what the gain would be by banning whole milk in schools.

Jim Paice, Conservative farming spokesman, said stating that while he was all in favour of children having a healthy diet, he said that whole milk is 97 per cent fat-free. He felt that to remove this option for children would be
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