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Meat Institute Argues for Scientific Evidence as Foundation of Nutrition Policy

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

(North American Meat Institute)

In oral comments delivered to USDA and HHS at a public meeting last week, NAMI Vice President of Scientific Affairs Betsy Booren, Ph.D., expressed concern that more than 70 percent of the recommendations made by the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (DGAC) were not based on the reviews of USDA's Nutritional Evidence Library (NEL). The NEL is designed to reduce bias in scientific analysis by serving as a primary resource to inform the DGAC about the best available scientific research and answer important food and nutrition-related questions.

"It is incumbent on HHS and USDA to develop nutrition policy based on recommendations derived by the NEL," Booren said. "To do otherwise implies policy is being developed under a shroud of bias," she continued.

Booren also stressed that meat and poultry products, including red and processed meats, are important components of a healthy dietary pattern, and outlined the abundance of nutrients found in these products, such as iron, selenium, Vitamins A and B12 and folic acid. Further, Booren criticized the DGAC's recommendations on sustainability, which she called "preliminary" and "incomplete," noting that the committee acted outside its scope of expertise and charter by focusing on topics unrelated to nutrition and epidemiology.

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