Reps. Carter, Mace introduce bill to require milk alternatives in schools

Staff Report
A student grabs a box of milk during lunch at a school on Aug. 31, 2022, in Glendale, Arizona.

Congressman Troy Carter (D-LA) and Congresswoman Nancy Mace (R-SC) introduced the bipartisan Addressing Digestive Distress in Stomachs of Our Youth (ADD SOY) Act, a bill that requires schools to provide fluid milk substitutes upon request of a student or parent or guardian.

U.S. Congressman Troy Carter speaks during the Bayou Lafourche pump station ceremony in Donaldsonville.

According to a news release from Carter's office, the ADD SOY Act makes soy milk available to children in schools who need an alternative to cow’s milk. It is especially important because many minority children are lactose intolerant.

“Too many children who cannot safely or comfortably consume dairy are being forced to accept containers of cow’s milk on their lunch trays. My ADD SOY Act ensures the health and nutritional needs of all our nation’s students are met. America needs to embrace its diversity at the lunch counter,” Carter said.

Rep. Nancy Mace (R-SC) speaks to reporters as she leaves the U.S. Capitol Building on Jan. 27 in Washington, DC.

“The federal government is wasting $300 million of our tax dollars a year by mandating that every school kid getting nutrition assistance has a carton of cow’s milk on the tray even though millions of them don’t want it and get sick from it,” stated Rep. Mace. 

Carter calls on EPA, Department of the Interior to protect enslaved burial grounds

Additionally, Carter sent a letter to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency administrator and the U.S. Secretary of The Interior calling on industrial corporations or entities to certify that there are no burial grounds of the formerly enslaved on sites being considered for development when seeking a permit.

“In my home state of Louisiana, the legislature created the Louisiana Slavery Ancestral Burial Grounds Preservation Commission in 2017. This Commission protects the interests of the descendants of ancestors buried over a century ago,” Carter wrote.

Many burial grounds and cemeteries of the formerly enslaved are unmarked graves, leaving little information on who these people were, how they lived, their interpersonal connections, and most importantly: their link to their current descendants, Carter said.