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Publicist Notes on the USDA Dietary Guidelines Project

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Many Voices Raised Against the Food Pyramid and the Unscientific “Plant-Based” Diet

by Kimberly Hartke, Publicist, Weston A. Price Foundation

I just googled DGAC to see what this dietary guidelines acronym means. What comes up is Dangerous Goods Advisory Council. I had to google again to find what I was actually looking for, Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee. But, this browser snafu points out exactly the problem with our U.S. government’s approach to food policy. Instead of recommending traditional food, the USDA is pushing increasing amounts of fake foods (dangerous goods) by an unsuspecting public!

Five years ago, Sally Fallon Morell of The Weston A. Price Foundation was the lone voice opposing the USDA’s anti-saturated fat prescription for America. In her testimony before the dietary guidelines committee, she noted that that by declaring natural animal fats and tropical oils “off limits” and pushing for a higher grain diet the USDA thereby endorsed industrial fats and oils, and processed “lowfat” foods.

At the July 8 hearing for the 2010 version, Fallon Morell was joined by several others in noting the deleterious affect of the USDA guidelines on the health of our population. In fact, one industry spokeswoman admitted during her testimony, “When these guidelines were first established, they were addressed to a healthy population. We don’t have healthy American’s anymore.”

Every 5 years, a  committee of academic experts is tasked with reviewing and updating the guidelines. I actually nominated WAPF President, Sally Fallon Morell, to serve on the pyramid review committee; unfortunately for America, she was not included.

The DGAC mandate was to evaluate current science and implement changes in the new 2010 nutrition guidelines. These guidelines are used to formulate school lunches and meals at other institutions, such as prisons and hospitals. On June 15, 2010 the DGAC released the preliminary report.

The Nutrition and Metabolism Society, a group of nutrition research scientists, fully expected the proposed guidelines to acknowledge new research is proving saturated fat is not the cause of heart disease. They also awaited official recognition of the latest findings on the benefit of low carb diets for diabetics and the obese. Instead, the science was neglected, omitted, and misinterpreted.

One week later, on June 21, they formed a Committee for a Healthy Nation (CHN), a coalition of organizations, scientists and other professionals who are concerned that the USDA guidelines will further contribute to the rapid decline of the health of our nation. (See links to their testimonies at the end of this post.)

The Weston A. Price Foundation was asked to join the CHN, and now we are working together to bring the dismissed science to the fore. By the way, it seems the only media that showed up to the hearing were there because of our media relations efforts.

At the USDA Public Hearing, officials representing the U.S. Department of Agriculture Nutrition Policy and Promotion and the Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, listened to forty eight speakers, ten of whom spoke out against the guidelines. By contrast, there were around ten vegan/vegetarian diet proponents, who praised the guidelines for embracing a plant- based diet, but advocated that Americans would benefit by reducing or eliminating animal foods altogether.  It seems the low fat hypothesis holds these groups in its thrall, as most of them referenced avoiding fat in their remarks.

The remaining twenty eight ‘rah-‘rah’ groups praised the new guidelines while suggesting minor changes–such as more emphasis on flavored dairy drinks or lean meat. Many asked for uniformly aggressive, broad implementation of the guidelines. These cheerleading speakers urged all agencies of the U.S. government to speak with one voice in endorsing the one-size-fits all guidelines. These, of course were the food industry associations, cancer and heart associations.

See my previous post Committee for a Healthy Nation Gives USDA Feedback for the critical highlights of last week’s hearing.

Committee for a Healthy Nation Testimonies:

Jeff Volek: USDA Low Fat, High Carb Plan Doesn’t Work for Many

Adele Hite: USDA Guidelines Responsible for Diabetes and Obesity Epidemic

Richard Feinman: Government has Failed to Halt Epidemic of Obesity and Diabetes

Sally Fallon: High Carb Diets Fail to Satisfy Appetite, Nutritional Requirements

Kimberly Hartke is the Publicist for Weston A. Price Foundation.

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  1. […] Here is a link to a superb article about the testimony before the USDA commitee by noted blogger Kimberly Hartke: Publicist Notes on the USDA Dietary Guidelines Project […]

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