Eric Adams backs off proposed chocolate milk ban -- for now - New York Post .

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Mayor Eric Adams is backing off his proposed ban on chocolate milk at least for now — and instead urging Congress to pass a law allowing vegetarian alternatives in select New York City schools, according to a letter obtained by The Post. 

Adams — who follows a mostly vegan diet and has already scheduled plant-based menus in city public schools – assured a nine-member, bipartisan group of New York’s Congressional delegation that he won’t push for a ban on chocolate milk, at least for now.

But he said he intends to pursue a pilot program, as well as federal legislation, requiring plant-based meals. 

“My administration is committed to empowering our students and their parents with the information and resources needed to make healthy choices for themselves and for our city,” the city mayor wrote in a letter dated Thursday, April 14 addressed to the New York delegation obtained by The Post. 

“We are preparing for stakeholder engagement with our school communities to provide feedback on all aspects of our school food program. In the interim, we are not making any determinations about chocolate milk.” 

The city’s chief executive also said that he’ll grant school principals the authority to decide whether they want to axe flavored milk in their own schools. 

Representative Elise Stefanik has spoken out against the proposed Chocolate milk ban in New York Public Schools.
Representative Elise Stefanik has spoken out against the proposed Chocolate milk ban in New York Public Schools.
Michael Brochstein/Sipa USA

“At the discretion of the school principal, individual schools may choose to remove flavored milk from their menu as long as they continue to offer milk with every meal in accordance with United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) requirements,” his letter said.

But upstate Republican Rep. Elise Stefanik blasted Adams’ letter as nothing more than a distraction from his true aim to replace dairy with “vegan juice.” 

“A temporary hold on the decision to ban chocolate milk in schools, thanks to our bipartisan efforts, is a win for Upstate New York farmers,” Stefanik told The Post in a statement.

Eric Adams said he intends to pursue a pilot program, as well as federal legislation, requiring plant-based meals.
Eric Adams said he intends to pursue a pilot program, as well as federal legislation, requiring plant-based meals.
Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images

She continued, “But make no mistake, any effort of Mayor Adams to ban chocolate milk and replace it with vegan juice is an absolute non-starter and will be opposed by parents, families, kids, and New Yorkers. I will continue to lead the effort to protect real dairy products in schools for the sake of our kids.”

Stefanik – the No. 3 GOP member in the House – already introduced federal legislation requiring all schools to offer chocolate milk, in response to Adams’ intended ban.

Adams said he favors federal legislation sponsored by Brooklyn Democratic Rep. Nydia Velazquez that would permit a healthy food pilot program in schools. 

The lawmakers cited in their letter studies showing that drinking chocolate milk helps kids consume essential nutrients and key vitamins.
The lawmakers cited in their letter studies showing that drinking chocolate milk helps kids consume essential nutrients and key vitamins.
Getty Images/iStockphoto

He wrote, “This legislation amends the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act by establishing a pilot grant program for school food authorities to provide healthy and climate friendly plant-based meal and milk options for students.”

“I respectfully urge you to prioritize discretionary funding for a pilot program to provide healthy drink alternatives in school lunch programs and to direct the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to commission a report examining the relationship between flavored milk consumption and health outcomes of students,” he added.

Adams was responding to a letter penned last month by Democratic Reps. Antonio Delgado, Grace Meng and Sean Patrick Maloney and Republican Reps. Elise Stefanik, Lee Zeldin, Claudia Tenney, Chris Jacobs, Tom Reed and John Katko begging the Big Apple’s mayor to reconsider his proposed ban on chocolate milk in the city’s public school dairy program. 

The city’s chief executive also said that he’ll grant school principals the authority to decide whether they want to axe flavored milk in their own schools.
The city’s chief executive also said that he’ll grant school principals the authority to decide whether they want to axe flavored milk in their own schools.
Getty Images/iStockphoto

The lawmakers cited in their letter studies showing that drinking chocolate milk helps kids consume essential nutrients and key vitamins.

“Studies have also shown that flavored milk consumption is not associated with weight gain or even a higher total daily sugar intake in children,” they wrote in their letter.

A recent survey from the International Dairy Foods Association found 90% of voters living in the five boroughs who send their kids to public schools support keeping low-fat flavored milk in public school meal programs.