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Hartzler, Colleagues Call for Sound Science in Dietary Guidelines

March 31, 2015
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler (MO-04) and 70 House colleagues today called for the Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) and the Department of Agriculture to ensure the final Dietary Guidelines  for Americans (DGA) are based on sound nutritional science and adhere to the DGA charter authorized by Congress.

The letter to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and HHS Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell comes in response to the 2015 Dietary Guideline’s Advisory Committee’s (DGAC) report that exceeds the scope of its charge by straying from purely nutritional evidence and venturing into areas like sustainability and tax policy.  Many outside groups, such as the American Farm Bureau Federation and National Cattlemen’s Beef Association are concerned the DGAC subjectively hand-picked data to support pre-determined conclusions when making dietary recommendations for the report.

“The Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee greatly overstepped its bounds in this report,” Hartzler said.  “The notion that the recommendations in this report were made based on selected data and excluded valuable nutritional information is appalling.  As someone who taught nutritional science for 11 years, I am disturbed by the suggestion that a quality source of protein like red meat shouldn’t be a part of a healthy diet.  Flagrant claims like that are cause for concern and call into question the validity of this report, not to mention the threat they pose to the integrity of the dietary guidelines as a whole.”

“We want to make sure that reports like this one, which can affect the lives of every single American, are based on sound science,” Hartzler added, “and don’t reflect the pre-determined policy positions of the individual DGAC members.  I urge and hope the agencies charged with finalizing the 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans will stay within the confines of their charter and base the final recommendations on the most current, irrefutable nutritional science.”

A copy of the letter with all 71 signatories can be found here.

Groups that support this letter include: American Farm Bureau Federation, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, National Pork Producer’s Council, National Restaurant Association, Livestock Marketing Association, North American Meat Institute, National Turkey Federation, and American Beverage Association.

Before coming to Congress, Congresswoman Hartzler spent 11 years teaching Family and Consumer Science teaching junior and senior high school students the importance of a healthy balanced diet.  She represents Missouri’s Fourth Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives and serves on the House Agriculture, Armed Services, and Budget Committees.