And they hope public comments will make a difference.
Gov. Pete Ricketts asserts environmentalists are pushing for the federal government to rid the guidelines of red meat, claiming that the beef industry harms the environment.
“Well, I’m very concerned about it, because to me what it represents is an agenda that has been driven by the left and environmentalist that is now impacting health requirements and to me that’s completely inappropriate and out of line,” Ricketts says. “We ought to be making our dietary guidelines based upon what’s good health for our children and not somebody’s green agenda. I’m very concerned about it.”
The United States Department of Agriculture is preparing its latest dietary guidelines and this time environmentalists are pressuring the USDA to recommend eating less red meat to reduce the carbon footprint of the cattle industry.
The federal dietary guidelines don’t just give the public an indication of what makes a healthy diet, they influence school lunches and meals for the military.
“These dietary guidelines influence how school lunches are prepared and what guidelines USDA give to schools when we’re feeding children,” State Agriculture Director Greg Ibach says. “So, we’re very concerned that children will be even less happy with their lunches than they are now.”
The time for the public to comment on proposed federal dietary guidelines is coming to an end.
Nebraska Cattlemen President Dave McCracken worries the movement away from red meat will gain acceptance if the public doesn’t protest.
“And it’s very important to hear comments from non-beef producers, people who are concerned about what their children are eating, what we’re eating and we need to have beef and all lean meats in the dietary guidelines,” McCracken says.
Comments are being taken at health.gov/dietary guidelines.
The USDA updates its dietary guidelines every five years.