Letters to the Editor

Meat industry bullies U.S. government again

The “Dietary Guidelines for Americans” recently released by the departments of Agriculture and Health and Human Services mark the ninth time in a row that the meat industry has successfully suppressed scientific findings recommending reduced meat consumption. The reduction was recommended by the government-appointed Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee in a 571-page report based on the review of thousands of studies.

Reduced meat consumption was first recommended in 1977 by the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Nutrition and Human Needs in “Dietary Goals for the United States,” a precursor to the current dietary guidelines. The meat industry forced the committee to destroy all copies of the report and remove the offending recommendation from a new edition.

That wanton government sellout to the meat industry has replayed itself with every new edition of the guidelines since then. “Dietary Guidelines for Americans” shape school lunches and other government food support programs and underlie public health campaigns to lower rates of obesity, diabetes, heart disease and cancer.

Fortunately, American consumers are not easily duped. Sales of plant-based meats, cheeses, milks and ice creams have skyrocketed, and every grocery store provides seemingly countless choices of fruits and vegetables.

Sean Herbert, San Luis Obispo