Senators urge USDA, HHS to keep lean meat in Dietary Guidelines
© Copyright Agri-Pulse Communications, Inc.
WASHINGTON, March 12, 2015 - A cohort of mostly GOP Senators is calling on USDA and the Department of Health and Human Services to make sure lean meat is included in the 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans.
In February, a panel of nutrition experts - the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (DGAC) - released a report suggesting a healthy diet consisted of lower quantities of lean meat, inflaming meat and livestock groups eager to defend their products. The release of the report was part of a process that takes place every five years to update the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, which dictate federal food policy and nutrition recommendations. Ever since, many legislators and lobbyists have been expressing their anger at the decisions of the DGAC and calling into question the scientific legitimacy of their findings.
In the letter, 30 senators encourage Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and HHS Secretary Sylvia Burwell to consider the most relevant nutritional research, which the lawmakers contend will cause them to ignore the DGAC's suggestion to decrease lean meat consumption as they write the final guidelines. They also advise the secretaries to stick within the statutory purview for the guidelines - that is to consider nutrition and health and not “sustainability” - and to expand the comment period past the customary 45 days. The period is currently set to expire April 8.
[Watching for stories about food and nutrition? Sign up for an Agri-Pulse four-week free trial subscription to stay on top of this and other ag, rural policy and energy issues.]
The letter was signed by 29 Republican and Independent Angus King from Maine.
#30For more news, go to: www.Agri-Pulse.com