Your Opinion: Weighty subject

Dear Editor:

USDA’s new MyPlate dietary logo illustrates graphically the shrinking role of meat and dairy products in our national diet. It replaces meat with a tofu loaf, and shunts dairy off the plate.

The new logo provides a fitting conclusion to a 30-year record of the Dietary Guidelines recommending replacement of animal products and other fatty foods in our diet with vegetables, fruits, legumes, and whole grains (see www.health.gov/dietaryguidelines).

The recommendations reflect widespread concern with the growing epidemic of obesity, high blood pressure, heart disease, and other killer diseases.

There is an historic reason why health authorities have not taken a stronger stand against meat and dairy, as they did with tobacco products three decades ago.

In 1977, the Senate Select Committee on Nutrition and Human Needs published Dietary Goals for the United States, recommending reduced meat consumption. The meat industry forced the Committee to destroy all copies of the report and to remove the offending recommendation from a new version. It then abolished the Committee, voted Chairman George McGovern out of office, and taught government bureaucrats never to challenge meat consumption again. (Food Politics by Marion Nestle, 2007).

Issue-oriented letters to the editor in response to this or about other local topics are welcome. All letters should be limited to 400 words. The author's name must appear with the letter, and the name, address and phone number provided for verification. Letters that cannot be verified by telephone will not be published. Send letters for publication to editor@newstribune.com

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