Meat industry balks at proposed dietary guidelines
Last week, the U.S. Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee issued its proposed nutrition policy for 2015 that has the meat industry crying foul — and The Washington Post calls it the “meat industry’s worse nightmare.”
The current proposal, which will soon re-open for public comments, recommends that Americans eat more fruits and vegetables while reducing our consumption of red and processed meat. But that’s not what has the meat industry so upset.
During open meeting sessions, earlier drafts of the guidelines included “lean meat” on a list of foods that are health-promoting, consistent with the existing 2010 guidelines. The final report, however, no longer includes “lean meat” on that list of healthful foods.
In fact, the proposal suggests that a diet higher in plant-based foods and lower in animal-based foods is “more health promoting and is associated with lesser environmental impact than is the current average U.S. diet.”
Earlier meetings of the advisory panel suggested it may take a broader approach to its nutrition policy recommendations by also factoring in issues related to sustainability – specifically, how reducing meat consumption can reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
The Dietary Guidelines for Americans are a joint project between the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; this nutrition policy is updated every five years. The current report will be reviewed by both federal agencies before another round of public comments will be accepted, and the final 2015 guidelines will be published by the end of the year.
This isn’t the first time the meat industry has been up in arms over meatless promotions within the federal government, so we can be sure they’ll put up a fight.