Draft dietary guidelines mostly positive for ag
The 2020 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee is expected to submit its final recommendations to the Departments of Agriculture and Health and Human Services by the end of this month and ag groups say guidelines are mostly positive for the ag sector.
Chair Barbara Schneeman says the committee received more than 62,000 public comments. “This is the most comments ever submitted to a dietary guidelines advisory committee.”
She says undergoing the review process during the COVID-19 pandemic solidifies the importance of nutrition and food security. “Those at risk to the most serious outcomes of COVID-19, including hospitalization and death, are people afflicted by diet-related chronic diseases.”
The National Milk Producers Federation and the International Dairy Foods Association say they are pleased the committee recognizes the importance of dairy in a healthy diet but are calling the full body of scientific studies to be recognized including research which finds dairy foods, regardless of fat level, appear to have either neutral or beneficial effects on chronic disease risks.
The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association says recommendations on red meat were similar to 2015 guidelines which say beef is part of a healthy diet but they would like to see experts better clarify what constitutes as lean meat.
The Center for Biological Diversity is calling for the guidelines to include assessments of food sustainability, climate, and accessibility along with better access to plant-focused diets.
The 2015 guidelines for the first-time included sustainability language during the committee process but it did not become part of the final recommendations.