CSPI Petition Tells USDA and HHS: Don’t Let the Food Industry Threaten Progress on Nutrition!

The Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee report is hot off the presses—and the meat industry, corn refiners, soda makers, and just about every other special-interest agribusiness concern in Washington are already attacking it.

The report is a road map for the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, which is the basis for national nutrition advice, programs (such as school lunch), and policies (such as food labeling). The new expert report contains some of the strongest recommendations yet that Americans should eat less meat, less sugar, and less salt. The committee has boldly stated that a sustainable diet, higher in plant-based foods and lower in animal-based foods, is better for both our health and the environment.

Already food industry lobbyists are threatening to use their clout in Congress to block this important progress on nutrition. The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association. The National Pork Board. The National Dairy Association. The American Beverage Association. The Sugar Association. (Yes, there is an association that works to make it easier to consume more sugar!)

It’s a who’s who of Washington special-interest groups that wants to water down the government’s core nutrition advice for Americans. But you can make your voice heard.


Tell the U.S. Departments of Agriculture and Health and Human Services that you do not want them to cave to food industry pressure. A quick note to them today could help to preserve strong, science-based nutrition advice.


Together, we can stand up to the food industry.


To: The United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)


I’m writing to let you know my strong and unwavering support for strong, clear nutrition standards as recommended by the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee.


As the committee recommended, Americans should be eating much less red and processed meat, less salt, and less sugar. The food industry has already begun attacking the committee’s sound recommendations, although they are consistent with decades of science and advice on nutrition.


The committee also found that a sustainable diet, higher in plant-based foods and lower in animal-based foods, is better for both our health and the planet than the current American diet. The recommendation to eat less red and processed meat deserves to be in the final Dietary Guidelines for Americans.


We urge you to stand up to the coming onslaught from the scores of self-interested Washington lobbyists hired by the meat, sugar, and other agribusiness interests and to listen instead to the scientists and experts who spent more than a year poring over the scientific evidence on public health.


I ask you to keep the strong language on eating less meat, salt, and sugar in the final Dietary Guidelines for Americans. Thank you for your consideration.




[Your name here]


The Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) is a consumer advocacy organization whose twin missions are to conduct innovative research and advocacy programs in health and nutrition, and to provide consumers with current, useful information about their health and well-being.