House Ag Committee Ranking Member Collin Peterson's Opening Statement on Dietary GuidelinesWed, 07 Oct 2015 11:36:22 CDT
Opening Statement by Agriculture Committee Ranking Member Collin C. Peterson
To Review the Development of the 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans
--As Prepared for Delivery--
“Thank you Mr. Chairman and welcome Secretary Burwell and Secretary Vilsack. I look forward to your testimony.
“Given that USDA and HHS are still reviewing comments, we’re probably getting ahead of ourselves here. But I do hope that today’s testimony can shed more light on the process to establish new guidelines and what they will actually mean for our constituents.
“There has been a strong reaction to the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee report. I’ve heard concerns about future sodium targets, the difficulties smaller schools may face in meeting new guidelines and what this could mean for cranberries and sugar.
“But these are coming from those who are directly impacted – industry, schools, the medical community – we’re not really hearing from the public. I don’t think the general public is paying attention. For those who are, they are very skeptical of the whole process. For example, we were once told that butter and eggs were bad for you but now I guess they’re ok. People may be losing confidence in the guidelines.
“Given the public’s skepticism we should maybe reconsider why we are doing this. Is it because it is something we have always done? Maybe we should first look to expand on a provision in the 2008 Farm Bill to understand more about what people are actually eating and then go from there.
“I am a little concerned that we’ve lost sight of what we’re doing. There seems to be more focus on ideology and marketing food products than providing clear nutrition advice to the general public.
“But I do hope we can have a productive hearing and achieve a good outcome. I know you’re going to do the best you can in breaking through all this noise. I thank the Secretaries for appearing before us today and I yield back.”
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