The Vegetarian Resource Group Blog


Posted on December 18, 2015 by The VRG Blog Editor


According to NBC News, it appears Congress is making clear to USDA where to draw the line on Dietary Guidelines. See: Budget Bill Limits New Food Advice

AOL/NBC said,
“Congress is scheduled to vote on a $1.1 trillion spending bill Friday that would avert a government shutdown until next October and fund almost all federal activities.

But like just about any bill in Congress, this one’s full of little goodies and pet projects that can have a big effect on medical research and health and science policies.

Dietary guidelines
The joint USDA/FDA food guidelines, which come out every five years, were due by the end of December. The bill holds that up after a big fight over an advisory panel’s recommendations that included limiting salt, eating less meat and, most controversially, eating a plant-based diet that protects the environment. Now the agencies cannot release their guidelines until they can show they are “based on significant scientific agreement; and … limited in scope to nutritional and dietary information”.

Salt limits

Congress is preventing the Agriculture Department from putting into effect any rule cutting sodium levels in federally provided meals “until the latest scientific research establishes the reduction is beneficial for children.”

Menu labels

The FDA delayed its plan to require restaurants to add calorie counts to menus. The bill makes sure the calorie counts stay off menus for now.

GMO Salmon
FDA won’t be able to allow the sale of genetically modified salmon until it has a plan for labeling the fish. And out of FDA’s budget “not less than $150,000 shall be used to develop labeling guidelines and implement a program to disclose to consumers whether salmon offered for sale to consumers is a genetically engineered variety.” When FDA approved GM salmon last month it said companies didn’t have to label it, provoking the fury of anti-GMO groups.”

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