House Ag Leaders Call on HHS and USDA to Outline Process in Developing Dietary GuidelinesFri, 15 May 2015 10:09:20 CDT
Chairman Conaway and Ranking Member Peterson Call on HHS and USDA to Outline DGAC Comment Review Process
Today, Chairman of the House Agriculture Committee K. Michael Conaway (R-TX) and Ranking Member Collin Peterson (D-MN) sent a letter to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, and Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell. In the letter, they expressed their concerns about the findings of the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (DGAC) report, and called on the Secretaries to outline a process for reviewing the more than 29,000 comments that were received before the end of the comment period on Friday, May 8, 2015. Compared with the work of previous advisory committees, the recent efforts of the 2015 DGAC represented a significant departure in scope from a focus on nutritional recommendations. As a result, the number of comments received increased by more than 1,350 percent.
"Members of the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee greatly exceeded their scope in developing recommendations," Chairman Conaway said. "At a time when consumers are already subjected to conflicting and often contradictory nutrition and health information, the dietary guidelines must provide the public with realistic, science-based recommendations. Before moving forward with the development of the 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, the Secretaries need to review all comments to confirm that public input does matter. As the lead administrative agency for the development of the 2015 Dietary Guidelines, the Agriculture Committee has repeatedly sought, but has yet to receive, a commitment from Secretary Burwell, regarding her willingness to explain her Department's role and process for moving forward with new, transparent and scientifically based dietary guidelines for all Americans. I again call on both departments to commit to fully reviewing all the comments and completely considering them before developing new dietary guidelines."
"The review process to formulate the 2015 Dietary Guidelines should be a thorough and full review of the comments offered by the wide range of stakeholders," Ranking Member Peterson said. "It is imperative that both USDA and HHS complete this review in a fully open and transparent manner."
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