The North American Meat Institute (NAMI) on March 12 launched a Change.org petition seeking consumer help in urging the U.S. Depts. of Agriculture and Health and Human Services to restore meat and poultry's reputation in the final 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans.
“Hot dog, sausage, bacon and salami lovers throughout the land stand together as Americans in favor of a balanced diet that includes meat and poultry of all kinds,” the petition says. "We stand together as people who value personal choice and reject taxes on foods that elite academics deem unhealthy. We assert ourselves as intelligent, free thinking people capable of making decisions that are best for our families’ nutrition needs, traditions and personal budgets.
“In response to the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee’s recent, anemic recommendations to eat lower amounts of red and processed meats we say, unequivocally and without hesitation, ‘Hands off my hot dog!’ ”
The Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee report, released on Feb. 19, recommended a diet "lower in red and processed meat." In responding to that, NAMI jumped on the fact the committee was composed entirely of academics and that "the committee overstepped its nutrition charge and made dietary recommendations that it believes will help the environment."
"This conflicts with studies showing that meat’s nutrient density helps deliver a unique nutrition bundle, control appetite, aid in weight control and that the B12 in meat helps promote brain development and brain health," NAMI says.
According to Meat Institute President/CEO Barry Carpenter, “We hope our petition will give a voice to the 95 percent of Americans who make meat and poultry part of a balanced diet and who want to ensure that no restrictions or taxes are placed upon their dietary choices. [Frankly, we at Food Processing didn't see any suggestion of taxes in the advisory committee report.] While the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee may think consumers aren’t capable of making common sense nutrition decisions and must be taxed and restricted, we believe Americans are intelligent people and we want their voices to be heard.”
The Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee is just that, only advisory, although taken seriously by the two government agencies, who are supposed to draft the final Dietary Guidelines by the end of this year.