WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA) joined a bipartisan group of senators in a letter urging U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Sylvia Burwell and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack to reject the Obama Administration’s Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee’s inconsistent and misleading recommendations on meat consumption. The proposed guidelines to limit the amount of red meat in a healthy diet would have a negative impact on Iowa’s livestock and pork industries.

In the letter, the senators detailed that “This statement ignores the peer-reviewed and published scientific evidence that shows the role of lean red meats as part of a healthy diet. Furthermore, the statement is misleading as it suggests current American diets include too much meat. Government data shows the protein food category is the only food group being consumed within the 2010 daily recommended values.”

“Not only do we represent farmers and ranchers who raise animals to provide healthy meat products, but we also represent consumers who enjoy lean meat as an important food in their diet,” the senators added. “The inconsistencies brought forward in the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee’s report are significant.”

In addition to the letter, Senator Ernst emphasized, “Rather than using a method based in sound health science, the committee opted to take a political track when determining their recommendation.  The authors of the report left out lean red meat as a vital component of a healthy diet, which is very troublesome.  This is in direct contrast to the countless number of dietitians and nutritionists who advocate for the consumption of lean red meat, and which would also have significant negative economic impacts on Iowa’s livestock and pork industries.”

View the original letter here.

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