Congress: Stop Threatening Scientific Process on the 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans
Who do you think should decide which dietary advice to
give to Americans: nutrition experts … or politicians?
New wording tucked into House Appropriations bills
would severely limit any updates from previous Dietary Guidelines based on
arbitrary rules cooked up in Congress. The
riders would require any new recommendations to be subjected to a stringent
test – inconsistent with both past Guidelines and common scientific practice – and
would limit revisions to “matters of diet and nutrient intake.”
Despite the fact that a shocking one-half of Americans
currently suffer from diet-related preventable disease, the restrictions would
gag the Report by requiring it to drop recommendations that, for instance, link
eating more fruits and vegetables and less meat to a decreased risk for obesity
and type-2 diabetes. This congressional
attempt to play politics with core science produced by objective experts is
both wrong and a dangerous precedent.
After 18 months of research by the Committee and two extensive public
comment periods, it is simply outrageous that the food industry and Congress are
high-jacking the science in the eleventh hour.
It is essential that the 2015 Dietary Guidelines for
Americans reflect up-to-date, science-based guidance without political
interference. Tell Congress to vote
AGAINST these unreasonable and anti-science restrictions. Scientists should determine the best health
advice to Americans, and not politicians.
I strongly urge you to remove the “Grade 1: Strong” evidence requirement and “nutrient and diet intake” limitation in the Agriculture and Labor/HHS appropriations bills and to allow the full range of expert recommendations put forth by the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee to be considered in crafting the 2015 Guidelines.
This Congressional attempt to play politics with core science recommended by objective experts is both wrong and a dangerous precedent. After 18 months of research by the Committee and two extensive public comment periods, it is outrageous that Congress would try to highjack the science and substitute its judgments for the experts in the eleventh hour. The Committee used the same evidentiary standards as previous Guidelines Committees to compile updated recommendations for 2015, yet the riders would strip out key information agreed upon by the expert Committee, such as the disease-preventing benefits of a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, lower in meat, and lower in added sugars, as well as updated advice about physical activity.
More than two-thirds of adults are overweight or obese, and one-half suffer from chronic diet-related disease. Given the enormity of this problem, it is essential that the 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans reflect up-to-date, science-based guidance without political interference.
I urge you to strike these harmful, arbitrary and anti-science riders from the Appropriations bills.
Thank you for considering my views. Signoff
District of Columbia
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