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Comments submitted to the federal government on the Scientific Report of the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee
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I am writing to express my support for the sustainability and health recommendations of the 2015 Scientific Report of the Dietary Guidelines Committee calling for consumption of less red and processed meat and fewer animal products overall. The science is clear that a more plant-centered, less resource-intensive diet is better for our health and the environment.
To the Committee:I am the President of the Council on Addictions of New York State. I represent more than 30 community based addiction prevention organizations in New York State, covering the vast majority of New York's 19 Million residents. As an organization of prevention agencies, we are VERY concerned with the proposed dietary guidelines as it related to alcohol consumption. These guidelines are taking the U.S. backwards in health recommendations, not forward. The European Union JUST released their top 12 recommendations for prevention cancer. "Drinking no alcohol at all" was on their "Code Against Cancer." It seems inconceivable to us that the U.S. would recommend alcohol as part of a healthy lifestyle, much less loosen the interpretation to include potentially more drinking as healthy. Please see our remarks below. **Without providing any explanation or evidence for a radical change, the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee proposes to increase limits used to define “moderate” drinking.**Changing "daily" limits to average "weekly" limits effectively increases the amount per day that is recommended as "healthy" in a single day. Without scientific evidence, the report implies that drinking is recommended as part of a healthy lifestyle: “the U.S. population should be encouraged to consume dietary patterns that are rich in vegetables. moderate in low-- and non--fat dairy and alcohol (adults).” Because alcohol is a Group 1 carcinogen, it seems incomprehensible that consumption is recommended as "part" of a healthy diet.--The risk of harm goes up with increased drinking with excessive use responsible for 1 in 10 deaths among working--age adults in the U.S. --Most people don’t drink daily so using a weekly average (and relaxing the guidelines) gives permission for individuals to drink right up to the point of binge drinking (4 or more per day for women, 5 or more per day for men). Simply "not" binge drinking does not equate to healthy drinking.--In light of the new evidence about risk from drinking alcohol at even very low levels, the Dietary Guidelines should encourage Americans to drink less – not more – to prevent alcohol--related harms.Thank you for your time and consideration related to our comments. We hope that you will join the European Union in utilizing the science to make your recommendations about alcohol consumption. Julia M. Dostal, PhDPresident, CANYS
I completely support the 2015 Scientific Report of the Dietary Guidelines Committee calling for consumption of less red and processed meat and fewer animal products overall. The science is clear that a more plant-centered, less resource-intensive diet is better for our health and the environment. We must act now to protect our future!
Despite the natural resistance of the beef industry, sustainability should definitely be a factor in the committee's final report and decision making process. They may wish to turn a blind eye towards the environment, and seek only profits--and that is their prerogative as companies and publicly held corporations. It is not the prerogative of the government, or of any living thing which cares for more than money. The environment belongs to us all, and these companies have no right to pollute and destroy for free. I myself do not eat meat. It is not a matter of taste, or of heath, or of animal rights. I do not eat meat because the meat industry causes severe harm to the environment, while doing almost nothing to fix said damage. There is a market failure. This industry uses massive amounts of land to grow grain, massive amounts of water in that and other processes, and emits staggering amounts of GHGs (mostly methane) in the process. This would be no problem if they paid to repair said damage. If the prices of these resources accurately reflected the true cost, they could make all the meat they wanted and it would not bother me one bit.BUT THEY ARE NOT PAYING FOR THE DAMAGE THEY ARE CAUSING.Only you folks have the power to fix this. The government needs to acknowledge the impact of this industry's activity, and the unbelievable lack of accountability they have enjoyed for so long. But no longer. This world belongs to us all, not one or a few, and when they treat it with disregard and disrespect they should be held responsible. That is all I ask. Thank you for reading!Evan Henry,Chemistry Student,Dallas, TX
Dear Sir / Madam: I am writing to voice my dismay at the proposed recommendations to increase limits used to define "moderate" drinking. I have worked in the addictions field for twenty years and have seen the all encompassing devastation wrought by alcohol on the individuals, families, health care, and the community. The new proposed guidelines present a clear and present danger to the health and well-being of Americans by tacitly giving permission to individuals to consume alcohol right up to the point of binge drinking. Drinking alcohol too much alcohol can negatively impact all systems of the body: the brain, heart, liver, pancreas, cancer, and the immune system In light of the new evidence about risk from drinking alcohol at even very low levels, the Dietary Guidelines should encourage Americans to drink less - not more - to prevent alcohol-related harms.I urge you to reject the proposed changes to the Dietary Guidelines on alcohol and retain the recommendations on alcohol in the 2010 Dietary Guidelines. Sincerely yours,Anita K. Seefried-Brown
It would be irresponsible of the government to ignore the relationship between sustainability and the Dietary Guidelines.
Please support the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee’s recommendations which favor a reduction in animal proteins and more plant-based foods. This has benefits to human health and thus reduces health care spending. It is also important for animal welfare and environmental impact.
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Last updated: 4/25/2015