Hoeven Statement on the Administration's Dietary Recommendations

WASHINGTON – Senator John Hoeven today issued the following statement in response to new recommendations issued by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee. The proposal included a recommendation that Americans eat less meat due to environmental concerns. The new guidelines will have far-reaching effects, dictating nutrition recommendations for school lunches, dietary requirements for military troops and other food-related programs for a five year period:

“We all recognize the importance of good diet in promoting healthy lives and proper child development. That means the focus of federal dietary guidelines should be on addressing the nutritional needs of children and adults rather than on issues like the president’s environmental agenda. Meat, moreover, is a healthy part of any diet, and the committee’s recommendations would pose a new challenge to our nation’s meat and poultry producers.

“Legislation that Congress passed last December directed Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack to ‘only include nutrition and dietary information, not extraneous factors, in the final 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans.’ As the USDA and Department of Health and Human Services develop the final guidelines, I urge them to respect the will of Congress and rely on only science-based, nutritional data and not make decisions based on peripheral considerations.”

The comment period for the new guidelines expires on April 8, 2015. The USDA and HHS will review the committee’s recommendations and comments, before jointly issuing final guidelines later this year.