Currently, the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (DGAC) is working on recommendations for the2015 Guidelines. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) will use the Committee’s recommendations to modify the Guidelines, which are updated every five years. Unfortunately, the DGAC has taken the Guidelines in a radical direction that has nothing to do with dietary health.
Make no mistake: the Guidelines areinfluential. They are used to develop many federal nutritional programs, includingschool mealprograms. If this environmental hijacking of the Guidelines is left unaddressed, the nutritional health of children, and the public generally, could be weighed against the political agenda of environmental special interests.
Dr. Barbara Millen, chair of the DGAC,remarkedat their first meeting, “Overall, we want to be certain to make recommendations for a healthy, ecologically responsible diet.”
A subcommittee was even formed called the “Subcommittee on Food Sustainability and Safety.” In apresentation, the subcommittee explained, “The goal is to develop dietary guidance that supports human health and the health of the planet over time.”
Human nutritional interests and political environmental agendas are completely unrelated. Developing legitimate nutritional guidelines therefore becomes an impossible task. For example, if the best nutritional advice recommends increasing meat consumption, but the extreme environmental agenda pushes for reducingmeat consumption, it isn’t clear which objective would win out if the DGAC continues to operate under these misguided principles. Although, given the DGAC’s actions and statements so far, the environmental objective would likely be very persuasive.