Aderholt on Dietary Guidelines Win
WASHINGTON, D.C. — "When I compare the original Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee report to the final Dietary Guidelines, it is clear to me and my colleagues that the Administration wisely listened to the science and dismissed the interests of political activists,” said Congressman Robert Aderholt who chairs the Agriculture Appropriations. “I am glad that we were able to beat back this regulatory overreach by the administration’s panel and let common sense win the day.”
Today the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the U.S. Department of Agriculture issued the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. I appreciate that the final guidelines adhere to the requirements of the law by making science-based dietary and nutritional recommendations.
More than a year ago, I sent a warning to USDA Secretary Vilsack that the guidelines must be based upon sound science and not include extraneous factors beyond the scope of nutritional information. This message was repeated when the U.S. House Agriculture Committee held a hearing with both HHS Secretary Burwell and USDA Secretary Vilsack in October. It was repeated again when Congress included statutory language that I fought for in the fiscal year 2016 omnibus spending bill which clearly states the final guidelines must be based upon significant scientific agreement and be limited to nutritional and dietary information. I applaud both Secretaries for following this mandate.
The 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines continue to support the important role meat and poultry products have in a healthy, balanced diet. It also continues to emphasize the importance of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, fat-free or low-fat dairy products while recommending some food ingredients be limited. I want to caution the Administration not to place blame on a few ingredients as the main cause for obesity and chronic diseases. The recommendations for increased physical activity coupled with a balanced eating pattern is key to a healthy lifestyle.
Moving forward, the fiscal year 2016 omnibus included funding for the National Academy of Medicine to conduct a comprehensive study of the entire dietary guideline process. I am hopeful this study will be informative to ensure future dietary guidelines are transparent, balanced, and based on sound science.
In Washington Congressman Aderholt serves as Chairman of the Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies for the powerful House Appropriations Committee; he is also a member of the Committee’s Defense Subcommittee, the Committee’s Commerce, Justice, and Science Subcommittee, and the Helsinki Commission.
For more information about Aderholt’s work in Congress visit: www.aderholt.house.gov.