Proposed dietary guidelines encouraging Americans to think about the environment when choosing what foods to eat are getting some pushback from congressional Republicans.
Any food guidelines need to focus just on nutrition and diet, insist House and Senate spending bills.
The Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee recommended guidelines be amended to say that eating a diet higher in vegetables and other plant-based foods is better for the environment than eating a diet based more on foods from animals.
These dietary guidelines are announced every five years and informs everything from school lunches and food packaging labels. The departments of Agriculture and Health and Human Services, by the end of 2015, are expected to issue the final version.
No doubt the meat industry lobby has been making waves with their Republican allies in an effort to thwart the advice from a government advisory panel of independent doctors and nutrition experts.
Adding more lobbyists to their list of enemies, the advisory panel said that tax should be imposed on all sugary beverages and snacks.
The advisory committee drafted a letter to lawmakers Tuesday stauchly opposing the legislation.
“I don’t think public policy should be driven by the economic interests or the lobbyists,” panel chairman Barbara Millen said in an interview. “It needs to be driven by science, and good science.”
“Research evolves and we expect it to change,” Millen added. “That doesn’t negate the importance of a large body of consistent data that may have limitations of a certain kind.”