Senate Remains Involved in 2015 Dietary Guidelines Process
Today, the Senate actively maintained their oversight role in the process of crafting the 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. At the Senate Appropriations Agriculture Subcommittee hearing, Chairman Moran (R-Kan.) asked the Committee’s witness, Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Hamburg, what role the FDA has in the process of writing the Dietary Guidelines, urging the Commissioner to maintain the focus on nutrition and health science.
Senator Daines (R-Mont.) reinforced the Chairman’s sentiment asking Commissioner Hamburg why environmental approaches were incorporated into the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee’s report, especially in light of Congressional language to the contrary; to which the Commissioner assured the Senator that the Secretaries will base their decisions on the science of nutrition and health.
Additionally today, 30 Senators sent a letter to Health and Human Services Secretary Burwell and Agriculture Secretary Vilsack expressing their concern with the Advisory Committee’s recommendation to remove “lean meat” from a healthy dietary pattern and request an extension of the 45-day comment period. The letter pointed specifically to the Committee’s conclusion that “dietary patterns with positive health benefits are also described as lower in red and processed meat,” noting that the statement is “misleading as it suggests that current American diets include too much meat.”
This is not only misleading as current evidence shows Americans are not overconsuming meat based on the 2010 Dietary Guidelines, but it is confusing as the Committee favorably reviewed dietary patterns much higher in the consumption of meat, like the Mediterranean diet.
The letter also expressed concern with the Committee’s disregard of peer-reviewed and published scientific evidence on the role of lean red meats as part of a healthy diet and the expansion of their purview beyond nutrition and health research into topics such as sustainability.
The comment period on the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee’s recommendations is currently open through April 8th. Cattle producers can review sample comments and submit their comments online at www.BeefUSA.org.