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NMPF Provides Oral, Written Comments to USDA, HHS on Dairy’s Importance in Diet

September 2, 2020

The Dietary Guidelines for Americans Committee’s scientific report reaffirms dairy’s important role in a healthy diet, but government officials need to take into account evolving science that shows the benefits of dairy fats when it releases its final report, said Miquela Hanselman, NMPF’s manager for regulatory affairs, during a virtual meeting of the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Department of Health and Human Services discussing the report August 11.

“The committee, correctly in our view, maintained dairy as its own group and did not allow the inclusion of any plant-based beverages or foods other than fortified soy beverage,” Hanselman said.

The committee also acknowledged dairy’s unique and important nutritional package and included it in food recommendations developed for children ages 6-24 months, the first time the panel gave that age group a specific focus. Still, the committee’s work is unfinished, Hanselman said. While pleased with most of the committee’s work, NMPF was disappointed that the committee didn’t include newer science on dairy fats that would better place full-fat dairy products within the healthy eating patterns the committee identified.

In addition to submitting both written and oral comments to USDA and HHS, NMPF also created a Call-to-Action, rallying 186 dairy advocates to reaffirm dairy’s positive role in the diet and ensuring that dairy’s specific concerns provide a distinct flavor to the full buffet of comments government officials will review as they craft the final 2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. That document is expected to be released later this year.