Nebraska: NDA Director Ibach Recommends Changes to Dietary Guidelines Draft Document

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Nebraska Agriculture Director Greg Ibach today sent a letter to two federal officials expressing his concerns with draft recommendations regarding national dietary guidelines.

In his letter to U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell, Ibach said he objected to the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee’s inclusion of a section on “agriculture sustainability” in the nutritional guidelines. He cited it as an example of overreach, far beyond the Committee’s mission.

“As a representative of one of the largest livestock producing states in the United States, I can tell you our ranchers and farmers implement and support sustainable agricultural practices every day. It is a necessity for operations that want to continue to be viable long into the future. But regardless of this fact, sustainability has no place in a report that should be solely directed at providing consumers with scientific-based dietary information,” said Ibach in the submitted letter.

In addition, Ibach strongly urged the secretaries to highlight lean meat as part of the healthy diet plan recommendations in the final Dietary Guidelines. The Committee draft downplays the role of lean meat in a healthy diet by mentioning it in the executive summary as a footnote.

“Understanding that the thousands of dietitians and nutritionists who will review the final Dietary Guidelines will likely focus on the executive summary, it is critical that lean meat is appropriately positioned as an essential part of a daily diet,” concluded Ibach.