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Congressional Letter Urges USDA and HHS to Use Sound Science for Dietary Guidelines

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

(North American Meat Institute)

Rep. Vickie Hartzler (R-MO) along with 70 members of Congress, including House Agriculture Committee Chairman Michael Conaway (R-TX) and House Appropriations Agriculture Subcommittee Chairman Robert Aderholt (R-AL), sent a letter to Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack and Secretary of Health and Human Services Sylvia Burwell expressing concern with the recent report issued by the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (DGAC). The letter urges Secretaries Vilsack and Burwell to base the final Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA) on sound nutrition science, and discourages the inclusion of recommendations that are outside the DGAC’s scope of expertise, particularly those related to sustainability and tax policy.

The lawmakers also express disappointment with the DGAC’s evaluative process, noting that the final DGA policy document should not be based on the “pre-determined policy positions of the individual DGAC members,” but rather on “irrefutable nutritional science.” The letter specifically highlights the DGAC’s recommendation on lean meat, which the lawmakers state contradicts “years of peer reviewed scientific research on the benefits of lean red meat as a high quality source of protein in a healthy diet.” NAMI and industry partners, including the National Cattlemen's Beef Association and National Pork Producer's Council, support this letter.

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