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Law makers question science behind US dietary guidelines

BMJ 2015; 351 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.h5414 (Published 09 October 2015) Cite this as: BMJ 2015;351:h5414
  1. Michael McCarthy
  1. 1Seattle

Skeptical law makers in the United States questioned Sylvia Burwell, US health and human services secretary, and Tom Vilsack, agriculture secretary, about the science behind and effectiveness of the US dietary guidelines in a three hour hearing before the US House Commitee on Agriculture on 7 October.

The departments of health and human services and agriculture are mandated by Congress to publish a report entitled Dietary Guidelines for Americans at least every five years. The guidelines have a widespread impact, influencing nutrition programs, food labeling, and research priorities.

The guidelines came under fire earlier this year after an expert panel released its recommendations for updating the …

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