(Washington, D.C.) – An advisory committee’s omission of red meat as part of a healthy diet ignores scientific evidence according to a group of 30 U.S. senators led by Senator John Thune, R-S.D. and including Senators Mike Enzi and John Barrasso, both R-Wyo.
The senators are calling on the USDA and Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to take a longer and more intense look at the committee’s advice.
“We are concerned about this committee’s suggestion to decrease consumption of red and processed meats…this statement ignores the peer-reviewed and published scientific evidence that shows the role of lean red meats as part of a healthy diet…we have strong concerns with the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee going beyond its purview of nutrition and health research to include topics such as sustainability…We encourage you to carefully consider the most relevant nutrition scientific literature and reject the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee’s inconsistent conclusions regarding the role of meat in Americans’ diets as you finalize the Dietary Guidelines,” the senators wrote in a March 12 letter to USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack and HHS Secretary Sylvia Burwell.
The letter also requests an extension of the 45-day comment period to ensure stakeholders have enough time to review and comment on the lengthy report.
Every five years, USDA and HHS review the dietary guidelines for American food consumption. A recent advisory committee report recommends to the agencies what foods should be included in the new dietary guidelines. The nearly 600-page report leaves lean red meat out of what it considers to be a healthy diet, which greatly concerns dietitians who support consumption of lean red meat and is alarming to the livestock, pork, and poultry industries, according to the senators.
Click here to see the senators’ letter.
–The office of Senators Mike Enzi and John Barrasso