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NMPF’s Hanselman Tells USDA, HHS: For Guidelines, Look Closely at Newer Science on Fats

August 11, 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.

“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. “Furthermore, the committee gave a nod to dairy’s nutrient density, and included it in food recommendations developed for 6-24 months.

Still, there’s work to do, she added.

“The Committee did fall short on one topic: the recognition of the newer science on dairy fats. Although we are pleased that the committee didn’t lower the saturated fats daily limit, we wish they had included the newer science on dairy fats in their recommendation. While the committee did acknowledge the need for more research and analysis on fat sources and food matrices, they failed to include the breadth of science that already exists in this area in their review. For this reason, we urge USDA and HHS to review the scientific literature on dairy foods at all fat levels and draw their own conclusions.”

The final 2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans are expected to be released later this year. Dairy advocates have until Aug. 13 to submit written comments on the guidelines by joining NMPF’s call to action here. A copy of Hanselman’s testimony is here. Full audio of Hanselman’s testimony is here. Broadcast outlets may use the MP3 file. Please attribute information to NMPF.