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USDA and HHS Will Keep Sustainability Out of Dietary Guidelines; Meat Institute Supports Nutrition Focus

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

(North American Meat Institute)

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell last week testified before the full House Committee on Agriculture to provide an update on the development of the 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. Vilsack and Burwell said the final Dietary Guidelines will focus on nutrition and dietary information and will not address issues related to sustainability or tax policy. The Secretaries also highlighted lean meats and protein-rich foods as building blocks of a healthy diet. Prior to the hearing, the Secretaries penned a blog post underscoring these same points.

Meanwhile, the Meat Institute commended USDA and HHS for committing to stay within the scope of their mandate as defined in the 1990 National Nutrition Monitoring and Related Research Act, which is to provide nutritional and dietary information and guidelines based on the preponderance of the scientific and medical knowledge.

“As NAMI has noted in previous comments, while sustainability is an important food issue, it was outside of the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee’s scope and expertise and would be more appropriately addressed by a panel of sustainability experts that understands the complexity of the issue,” NAMI President and CEO Barry Carpenter said. “Moving forward, we hope the agencies will continue to focus on the clear science highlighting the wide variety of nutrition benefits of all meat and poultry products to develop a Dietary Guidelines for Americans best suited to achieve healthy outcomes for all Americans,” Carpenter added.

USDA and HHS are currently working together to develop the eighth edition of the Dietary Guidelines, which are set to be released by the end of this year.

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