European School Milk Scheme
10/07/2008 - In response to the requests and suggestions of Member States and the European Parliament, the European Commission has adopted a new version of the EU School Milk Scheme with simple and clear implementation rules that provides a larger range of healthy dairy products to more children.
The European School Milk Scheme is intended to encourage consumption among children of healthy dairy products containing important vitamins and minerals. The scheme does not only have a nutritional character but also an educational character and contributes therefore greatly to the fight against obesity among children. The School Milk Scheme is there to provide quality products for children, to contribute to a healthy way of living and to nutritional education with a better knowledge on products.
The School Milk Scheme has recently been reviewed by the European Commission taking into account a number of requests and suggestions from the Member States, the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union.
With the review of the scheme a number of new, innovative and more attractive products have become eligible for the EU-subsidy. Further to various types of drinking milk, in the future children will have the access, among others, to certain fermented milk products with fruit or fruit juice, plain fermented milk products, such as yoghurt, buttermilk, kephir etc., and a wide range of cheeses. The EU-subsidy, moreover, will be the same for full-fat, medium-fat or low-fat products. Member States will have the possibility to choose the products they wish to distribute from the list of eligible products and they will also have the possibility to apply stricter standards than those set out in the Community list.
With the new regulation, secondary schools will have the same access to the scheme as nursery schools, other pre-school establishments and primary schools. Secondary schools were in the past often not participating in the School Milk Scheme as it was not obligatory for the Member States to include them.
While the scheme contains a large degree of subsidiarity the Community implementing rules have been further clarified and simplified.
Last year the equivalence of 305 000 tonnes of milk was distributed in schools in 22 Member States with Community expenditures of more than 50 million euro. With the new and simpler rules of the scheme as well as the new and more attractive products available, it is expected that in the future even more schools will participate in the distribution of dairy products allowing and encouraging children to replace low-quality food and drinks with convenient, high-quality dairy products.
After yesterdays post on milk and madness, and being very aware of the excess of milk production in the EU, this seems to be nothing more than en elegant mechanism to get rid of milk overproduction. Poor children! There is already enough controversy on the benefits of milk consumption, not to encourage it so thoughtlessly! Milk creates an acid digesting environment, which substracts a lot of neurtalizing agents from your body, in such a way that, for example the famous Calcium input from milk can be completely neutralized and even shifted to the negative (i.e. Calcium loss). Why the hell should our taxes go to make mainly well-fed children have some more dairy?!