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House Agriculture Leadership Presses USDA to Outline DGAC Review Process

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

(North American Meat Institute)

House Agriculture Committee Chairman Michael Conaway (R-TX) and Ranking Member Collin Peterson (D-MN) last Thursday sent a letter to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell requesting information from their departments regarding the processes of reviewing over 29,000 public comments received on the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee's (DGAC) report.

In the letter, Conaway and Peterson emphasized the importance of reviewing every comment submitted, especially when many of them reference scientific studies and evidence: "At a time when consumers are already subjected to conflicting and often contradictory nutrition and health information, the dietary guidelines must provide the public with realistic, science-based recommendations...We expect each and every comment to be considered by your agencies before you commence developing your proposed dietary guidelines."

Conaway and Peterson expressed concern about whether the departments would be able to conduct a thorough review of the comments by the end of the year and asked the Secretaries for an account of how their agencies' staffs will be managed to complete the review. Vilsack and Burwell are expected to provide a response to the letter by June 10.

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