June 2010    
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The Livestock Industries' Interests Underpin the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans

 

Your Voice Can Make a Difference

 

The inaugural edition of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans was published in 1980 and has been updated every five years since. The purpose of the Dietary Guidelines is to provide recommendations for the United States public on how to achieve a healthy life through nutrition. Their influence is widespread, serving as the basis for federal food and nutrition education programs, and relied up by nutrition educators, food planners, dietitians, and physicians. The Dietary Guidelines are the basis for the Food Guide Pyramid.

 

The Dietary Guidelines are developed with the recommendations of a Dietary Guidelines advisory committee, sponsored and appointed jointly by the Department of Agriculture and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The judgments of these advisors weigh heavily on the choice of the scientific research that will be considered important for forming the guidelines.

 

Since the original Guidelines, and every five years with an update, the American public has been warned about the hazards of eating too much fat, saturated fat, cholesterol, sugar and salt, and has been encouraged to choose a diet with plenty of grain products, vegetables, and fruits, and to exercise. Obviously this committee's efforts to guide Americans have failed; over the past thirty years people have become much fatter and sicker. The committee's final report for the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans offers nothing new to change this tide. Please take the time to read this report or at least the Major Conclusions.

 

The final report of the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans is a transparently biased review of the scientific literature in favor of the livestock industries, and especially the dairy industry. The collective lack of objectivity of the thirteen advisory members has resulted in conclusions that support the consumption of far too much milk, cheese, red meat, poultry, eggs, and fish. Many members of this committee have declared conflicts of interests by their associations with food and pharmaceutical companies. Download and read this paper about the business ties of the advisors to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

 

No doubt, the advisors' personal eating habits have also affected their decisions about what is good food. Although I have never had the opportunity to dine with any of these experts my guess is that they all partake in the very foods that are making nearly every American overweight and sick. Nowhere do I find evidence that any member is vegetarian, much less vegan. Thus, I can safely assume that the truth has also been blindsided by their dinner plates.

 

Fortunately, there is an opportunity for you to comment on this Report in writing or in person before it is accepted as the final nutrition doctrine that will rule until the year 2015. I encourage you to make your voice heard. Written comments on the Report must be received before 5:00 pm EDT on July 15, 2010.

 

There are pages of interesting comments already posted and worthy of reading. Please note that I (John McDougall) submitted the first comment about the Dietary Guidelines for Americans months ago. My next comments, which I will send directly to you in the next few days and submit to the committee, will be about the scientific inaccuracies and omissions in this report that favor the animal-food industries (especially the dairy industry). I will be asking this committee of advisors to look at the clinical evidence with an impartial gaze this time and to rewrite their final report so that Americans will have the opportunity to enjoy their inalienable right to achieve a healthy life through nutrition.


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Dr. McDougall's Health and Medical Center
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