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USCA: Dietary Guidelines Should Focus Solely on Nutrition, Science
Contact: Jess Peterson, (202) 870-3867 - usca@uscattlemen.org

USCA (February 20, 2015) – The United States Cattlemen’s Association (USCA) issued the following statement regarding the release of the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee’s recommendations to Health and Human Services (HHS) and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).  The scientific report, as submitted by the Committee to both HHS Secretary Sylvia Burwell and USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack, serve as recommendations to each Department on the subsequent 5 year dietary guidelines.

USCA President Danni Beer commented on the release, “USCA supports a narrower scope of the guidelines to a nutritional focus, as intended by the original goal of the guidelines authorized by Congress. The report, while acknowledging beef’s nutritional value in the footnotes, still neglects the current science and research which supports meat, specifically beef, as a necessary component of any healthy diet.”

USCA Dietary Committee Chair Linda Chezem offered her analysis of the report, “While USCA is pleased to see that beef remains a recommended source of protein in the guidelines, we remain concerned with the continued references to “sustainability” in the committee’s discussions.  The Dietary Guidelines Committee is a panel of supposed nutrition “experts”; these individuals do not have the capacity to make judgments on how any food product relates to climate or the environment.  USCA asks USDA and HHS to address this issue and to remove it from further discussions as its relevance falls greatly outside the panels described realm of expertise.”

Chezem continued, “Today’s marketplace has the benefit of several new cuts of meat, all of which are geared toward providing the general public with additional options for adding protein to their diet.  USCA will continue to work with USDA and HHS to ensure that only science, not cultural and lifestyle bias, is utilized for the basis of final guidelines on this issue.”

A public comment period will be open through April 8, 2015. USCA encourages the public to learn more about the proposed Dietary Guidelines by going to www.health.gov/dietaryguidelines