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NMPF Speaks to Dairy’s Diet Importance at Second Dietary Guidelines Meeting

August 5, 2019

NMPF regulatory expert Miquela Hanselman testified on July 11 at a joint U.S. Department of Agriculture and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services meeting soliciting public comment on the upcoming update of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, making the case that dairy needs to remain its own food group, plant-based products shouldn’t be included in the dairy category, and that dairy protein is superior to plant protein.

“Dairy foods are one of the top sources of calcium, protein, phosphorus, magnesium, potassium, vitamins A, B12, D and riboflavin in children’s diets,” Hanselman said. “In fact, it was determined in 2015 that 42% of individuals over the age of 1 don’t get enough calcium or vitamin D–two micronutrients that dairy products are full of. If dairy were removed from the diet, people would fall significantly below the estimated average requirement.”

The meetings began with each of the DGAC’s six subcommittees and one working group presenting draft protocols or proposed scientific approaches which then will be used to examine the scientific evidence. These protocols include analytic frameworks, inclusion and exclusion criteria, and search strategies, all of which are available online.

While the committee continues to put together the 2020 guidelines, a comment period will remain open for anyone who would like to submit comments. Submissions may be made here.

The second part of the meeting focused on comments from members of the public. The dairy industry was united in promoting the importance of dairy in healthy diets, even as some public comments were anti-dairy and not supported by scientific literature. NMPF and the National Dairy Council commented on key areas regarding dairy’s important place in the dietary guidelines.

Key priorities for dairy include:

  • Maintaining dairy as a separate nutritional group
  • Maintaining the recommendation of three dairy servings per day
  • Preventing non-dairy beverages from being allowed into the dairy group
  • Emphasizing the protein quality of dairy products

You can find the full statement here. NMPF will submit written comments and continue to monitor the dietary guidelines as more information is released. The next public meeting will be on October 24-25 in Washington, D.C.