Recent Press Releases

Delegation Concerned 2015 Dietary Guidelines May Discourage Meat Consumption

New Obama administration report offers misleading and inconsistent recommendations on meat consumption

February 20, 2015

Washington, D.C. — 

Following a new report from the Obama administration’s Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee, which advises the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) on the suggested 2015 dietary guidelines, U.S. Sens. John Thune (R-S.D.) and Mike Rounds (R-S.D.) and Rep. Kristi Noem (R-S.D.) expressed their concern about the misleading and inconsistent guidelines on meat consumption in the report.

Every five years, USDA and HHS review the dietary guidelines for American food consumption. The new report recommends to the secretaries what should be included in the dietary guidelines that will be issued later this year. The report leaves lean red meat out of what it considers to be a healthy diet, which is not only a great concern to dietitians who support consumption of lean red meat but is also concerning for the South Dakota livestock industry.

“It is hard to believe that the very agency tasked with promoting agriculture would encourage people not to eat meat,” said Thune. “From the short-lived Meatless Mondays, to misguided dietary guidelines, farmers and ranchers deserve more of an ally in the USDA, rather than an adversary. Misleading dietary guidelines would not only confuse consumers, but would also harm South Dakota’s livestock industry. I urge the Obama administration to reconsider the recommendations in the report, and I will continue to closely monitor the guidelines as they move forward.”  

“For this study to suggest that they cannot get adequate information to make a firm determination on the value of lean red meat in the diet is absurd,” said Rounds. “Instead, they are using misleading information, which is unfair to both consumers who look to these guidelines for sound advice and producers whose livestock business could be negatively affected. As our farmers and ranchers continue to seek ways to feed a growing global population, our government should find ways to empower, not hinder, our producers. I encourage the administration to consider the impacts of these misguided recommendations and remove them from the final report.”

“Dietary guidelines have historically been based on healthy eating and nutrition, but the Obama administration is inviting their environmental agenda to the dinner table,” said Noem. “We need a science and health based approach to nutrition, and that includes meat. South Dakota farmers and ranchers deserve better from the USDA. As a lifelong farmer and rancher and also as a mom, I know that good protein sources like lean meat are part of a healthy diet. This recommendation is misguided and I urge the administration to base their guidelines on what is good for the consumers and those who provide our meals.”

The full report is available here.