The US Department of Agriculture’s Dietary Guidelines for Americans shape everything from people’s daily diet to the food sold to schools, prisons, and military bases. So the multi-billion-dollar meat and dairy industries lobby our government regulatory agencies to maximize their profit. But a coalition of 150 environmental, public health, and food advocacy organizations have gathered more than 150,000 petition signatures from Americans who insist that health and ecological concerns must trump corporate interests. Scientific studies overwhelmingly indicate that plant-based diets are much healthier and more sustainable than the USDA’s standard meat-and-dairy-weighted recommendations. The Dietary Guidelines are revised every five years, and in addition to the petition signers, more than 20,000 people submitted comments during this year’s feedback period, which ended on May 8. The Department of Health and Human Services called this “an unprecedented number” in comparison to the 1,200 comments received for the 2010 dietary guidelines process.
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