Keep Plant-Based Federal Dietary Guidelines! For Our Health! For the Earth's Health!

  • by: Brad Gaffney
  • recipient: Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, Health and Human Services Sec. Sylvia Burwell

The Dietary Guidelines for Americans are due to be revised this
year. It is the joint responsibility of the Department of Agriculture
and the Department of Health and Human Services. The Dietary
Guidelines Advisory Committee is responsible for producing dietary
guidelines that "encourage Americans to focus on eating a healthful
diet—one that focuses on foods and beverages that help achieve and
maintain a healthy weight, promote health, and prevent disease."

The Scientific Report of the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory
Committee (DGAC) contains findings that are supportive of the
connection between a plant-based diet and environmental sustainability.

The beneficial effects of a plant-based diet on personal health are
numerous and include better weight control and lower incidence of
degenerative diseases like cancer, diabetes and coronary disease. Global warming is suspected of causing increased transmission of infectious diseases, and animal agriculture is a major contributor to both global warming as well as exacerbating the current drought conditions in California.

Dear Secretary Vilsack and Secretary Burwell,

We applaud the inclusion of this statement in the preliminary report:

"The major findings regarding sustainable diets were that a diet
higher in plant-based foods, such as vegetables, fruits, whole grains,
legumes, nuts and seeds, and lower in calories and animal-based foods,
is more health promoting and is associated with less environmental
impact than is the current U.S. diet."

It's now increasingly clear that animal agriculture negatively affects people's health as well as the global climate. Please help people to understand this and to choose foods that support individual health and the health of the planet.

I ask you to follow the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee recommendations and keep this statement in the report.


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