Sen. Dole expresses concerns about dietary guidelines

By Sara Wyant

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WASHINGTON, Feb. 21, 2015 - The co-author of the original “Dietary Guidelines” supports much of the latest committee's recently released report on nutrition, but also expressed some strong concerns.

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Kansas Sen. Bob Dole, who along with South Dakota Sen. George McGovern co-authored the original 1977 “Dietary Goals for the United States” report, issued a statement commending the USDA, HHS and its Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee for “continuing to focus attention on human nutrition. 

“While I agree with much of the report, I believe the Committee exceeded its mandate when it made dietary recommendations based on environmental concerns of sustainability,” he emphasized.

“I urge the Secretary of Agriculture and the Secretary of Health and Human Services to omit those recommendations in issuing their final guidelines.  The science of nutrition can be confusing to the average consumer.  Integrating environmental considerations into dietary recommendations lessens the report's impact and usefulness.”

The Committee's latest report notes that a staggering numbers of Americans are struggling with obesity and/or preventable chronic diseases, but it has also drawn strong criticism from several agricultural groups.

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“The science of human nutrition is constantly evolving, making it important to update the U.S. government's dietary guidelines every five years,” Dole noted.

 

Publication of the report on February 19, 2015 kicks off a 45-day comment period on its contents. USDA and HHS, the agency with the administrative lead on the 2015 guidelines, will be seeking comments from the public and other federal agencies. At the close of the comment period, USDA and HHS will jointly work to produce the 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, which are expected to be finalized and published late this year.

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