Administration Will Keep Lean Red Meat in 2015 Dietary Guidelines

WASHINGTON — U.S. Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) applauded the administration’s decision to only consider the most relevant nutritional science in determining the 2015 dietary guidelines, which is consistent with statutory guidelines, and reject the advisory committee’s earlier inconsistent conclusions and recommendations regarding the role of lean red meat in a healthy diet. 

Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack and Secretary of Health and Human Services Sylvia Burwell announced their decision earlier this week in a joint blog post. The 2015 dietary guidelines “are not the appropriate vehicle for this important policy conversation about sustainability,” Vilsack and Burwell wrote.

“This is the right decision,” said Thune. “I’m glad Secretary Vilsack and Secretary Burwell heeded our request and rejected the advisory committee’s misguided recommendation to leave lean red meat out of what they consider to be a healthy diet. Although the guidelines are not yet finalized, the administration’s announcement will be welcome news for the livestock, pork, and poultry industries in South Dakota.”

Every five years, USDA and HHS review the dietary guidelines for American food consumption. A March 2015 advisory committee report recommended to the agencies foods that should be included in the new dietary guidelines. The committee left lean red meat out of what it considers to be a healthy diet due to inappropriately using sustainability as a factor.

Following the advisory committee’s report, Thune led 29 of his colleagues in sending a letter to Vilsack and Burwell urging them to reject the committee’s sustainability recommendations.