The International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA) has commended New York City Council member Bill de Blasio for introducing a resolution asking the city’s Department of Education to reassess its decision to limit milk choices in public schools. The resolution and its coverage in prominent media outlets mark a major milestone in the industry’s efforts to get more varieties of milk back in the schools. “The introduction of this resolution marks the culmination of many months of coordinated effort by IDFA, the American Dairy Association and Dairy Council (ADADC), and key companies in the industry,” says Chip Kunde, IDFA senior vice president. Last fall, department officials directed all city schools to serve only lowfat and fat-free white milk, allowing only some schools to offer fat-free chocolate milk on special occasions. Previously, a wide variety of milk was available, including lowfat chocolate and strawberry; schools report milk consumption has decreased 5 percent since the new restrictions took effect. The IDFA/ADADC/industry member working group currently is building a coalition of third-party experts — comprising pediatricians, nutritionists and other health professionals — to continue to press school officials to allow more flavors and types of milk back into  New York schools.
IDFA made important progress at the latest meeting of the Codex Committee on Food Additives and Contaminants (CCFAC) held in The Hague last month. The committee moved to simplify food-additives provisions in all draft dairy Codex standards and eliminate redundancies that can hinder U.S. dairy exports. Allen Sayler, IDFA’s senior director of regulatory affairs, led the International Dairy Federation delegation at the April meeting, which drew representatives from 50 countries. The committee also endorsed food-additives provisions in 16 individual Codex draft cheese standards, paving the way for final adoption of the new standards at the main Codex commission meeting this July. The lone exception was annatto extract, a common color used in cheese, which the committee agreed to consider in 2008. Taking another step forward, committee members removed the food additives provisions for butter, butter oil, anhydrous milkfat, whey cheese, and dried whey from the Codex dairy standards and placed them in the Codex General Standard for Food Additives (GSFA). The entire GSFA is now available as a searchable database on the Codex Web site,
A former executive of Ben & Jerry’s Homemade Inc., South Burlington, Vt., has been sentenced to more than two years in prison after being convicted of embezzling nearly $300,000 from the company to pay for vacations, car repairs and clothing. Stuart Wiles, the former chief financial officer at Ben & Jerry’s, issued company checks for charitable contributions, unspecified legal settlements and other nonexistent expenses to pay off personal expenses, according to the U.S. Attorney’s office in Vermont.
The Wisconsin Dairy Products Association will sponsor its fourth annual World Dairy Expo Championship Dairy Product Contest this fall. The contest, which is national in scope, will once again be held in conjunction with World Dairy Expo. This year, cultured buttermilk, whipping cream, sour cream-based dips, sherbet and an expanded whey category will be part of the contest.
Stonyfield Farm Inc., Londonderry, N.H., has signed a deal with HIT Entertainment to underwrite the popular “Barney & Friends” television series on PBS. The yogurt manufacturer began airing 15-second sponsor credits in March at the open and close of the hit children’s program. The integrated partnership includes promotional inserts in Barney™ DVDs and online exposure on both and