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Food Letter 04

Food Letter 04

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Published by Sunlight Foundation

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Categories:Types, Letters
Published by: Sunlight Foundation on Apr 20, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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04/20/2012

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Qrongres5
of
fife
§fafen
Basqingtnn,
1!l«
20515
July21,2011TheHonorableThomas
J.
Vilsack
0f
AgricultureUnitedStatesDepartment
of
Agriculture1400IndependenceAvenue,SWWashingtqn,DC20250DearSecretaryVilsack:
RECEIVED
UUL2
Ii
20U
OFFICEOFTHECHAIRMAN
Wewritetoyoutodaytoexpressourconcernswitheffortsbyyourdepartment,amongothers,toestablishvoluntarynutritionguidelinesforfoodsandbeveragesmarketedtochildrenandadolescentsup.totheage
of
18
thatarenotconsistentwiththedietaryguidelinesrecentlyestablishedby
U.
S.Department
of
Agriculture(USDA).Whilewesupporteffortstoreducechildhoodobesityandimprovethehealthandwell-being
of
ourchildren,
we
believetheInteragencyWorkingGroup's(IWG)proposalsshouldbereevaluatedtoreflectcarefullybalancedrecommendationsmadepreviouslybytherespectiveagencies.
As
members
of
thebipartisanCongressionalDairyFarmersCaucus,
we
areparticularlyconcernedthattheIWGmaynothaveconsideredthepossibleimplicationsthatthedraftproposalmayhaveon.America'sdairyfarmers.Wehavegreatlyappreciatedyoursupport
of
America'sdairyfarmersoversinceyoutookoffice.Asyouknow,2009wasadevastatingyearforthedairyindustryinwhichmanyfarmsshutteredtheirbarndoorsandmanymoretookonexcessivedebtfromwhichtheyarestillrecovering.Withtheindustry
as
fragileasitis,wearedeeplyconcernedabouttheimpactthesenewmarketingrestrictionswillhaveontheirrecovery..Asyouknow,lowfatandfatfreedairyfoods
playa
vitalroleinthediets
of
childrenandadolescents.Theimportance
of
theseproducts
in
promotinggoodhealthhasbeenconfirmedagainandagainbymultiplepeerreviewedstudiesaswellasreportsissuedbyUSDA.However,afterareview
of
theguidelinesestablishedbytheIWG,
it
appearsthatmanydairyproductscurrentlysoldinstoresnotmeetthenutritioncriteriasetforththeirproposal.Thisincludesmanycheeses,yogurts,and
some
fluidmilk.GivenUSDA'sstrongbeliefthatdairyplaysavitalroleinthediets
of
childrenand
Q
adolescents,itistroublingthatsomanydairyproductsdonotmeetthe
IWG's
guidelinesdespite
r:-..:
approvedfortheNationalSchoolLunchandBreakfastprogramsaswellastheWICprogram.
It
alsoappearsthattheguidelinesprecludemanycereals-includingnonsweetenedcereals-from
0::-
meetingthesestandards.
This
factis
of
concerntousbecauseaccordingtotheCentersforDiseaseControlandPrevention'sNationalHealthandNutritionExaminationSurvey(NHANES),
41
%
percijit
of
themilkconsumedby6-toisconsumedwithcereal,withevenhigherratesamong,.minoritygroups.Weareconcernedthatbysuppressingtheconsumption
of
cereal,includinghealthyoptionssuchasCheerios,theguidelinesputforthbythe
IWG
mayalsosuppresstheconsumption
of
fluidmilkamongchildren.Thiscouldundotheefforts
of
USDAtopromotehealthyeatinghabitsasestablishedinthemostrecentDietaryGuidelinesandatbestsendmixedmessagestothepublicaboutwhatconstitutesahealthydiet.Furthermore,whileweunderstandthatthe
IWG's
proposalrepresentsvoluntaryguidelines,weareconcernedthatthisactionmayleadtofurtherrestrictionsthatwouldlimitconsumerchoicesthatarenotconsistentwithguidelinesestablishedbyUSDA.
PRINTED
ON
RECYCLED
PAPER
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"
 
WeaskthatyouurgetheWorkingGrouptoreconsidertheirmarketingproposaluntilacompn
..
studyiscompletedastotheimpactthatthiswillhaveondairyconsumptionandthatataminimtproposalputforthbeconsistentwiththeguidelinesestablished
by
USDAforotherfederalprogranSincerely,Rep.TimuthyJohnsonLoBiondoRep.ReidRibble
",,:.1:,"
Rep.BillOwens
Goodlatte.

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