02.19.15

Chairman Roberts Disappointed in Politicized Process of the Dietary Guidelines

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Pat Roberts, R-Kan., Chairman of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry, today released the following statement regarding the newly-announced 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee recommendations.

“I am glad the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee report has finally been released, so we can all stop wondering what it was going to say,” said Roberts. “This report is disappointing, as it is clear with some of these recommendations, the non-political, science-based process has gone awry. The Dietary Guidelines are an essential part of combating obesity and improving the diets of all Americans, and it is crucial the Guidelines be free from political influence and be completely based in nutrition science. It appears this has not been the case, and that is troubling news. As USDA and HHS take this report into consideration and develop the 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, I hope they work to restore integrity to the process and preserve the independent, unbiased and nutrition science-based nature of previous Guidelines.”

The 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee today sent their long-awaited, nearly 600-page report to the Secretaries of the U.S. Departments of Agriculture (USDA) and Health & Human Services (HHS). The report is a recommendation to the Secretaries as they develop the 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, which will be finalized later this year.

The agencies will examine the report and public comments before jointly releasing the official Dietary Guidelines, which will dictate nutrition recommendations for a variety of government programs, from school lunch to food allowances for U.S. military troops. The public comment period ends on April 8. The Guidelines are reauthorized every five years.

Senator Roberts also is a member of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, which has jurisdiction over HHS.

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