On Wednesday, the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) filed a lawsuit against members of the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (DGAC) for excluding pertinent health recommendations—particularly for omitting the upper recommended limit of cholesterol consumption previously capped at 300 milligrams—from its recently-released dietary guidelines. In its lawsuit, PCRM states that the new guidelines are “contrary to the preponderance of scientific and medical knowledge,” adding that “abundant evidence shows that cholesterol is a significant contributor to cardiovascular disease, the leading killer of Americans.” To show that the DGAC was not creating the guidelines with public health in mind, PCRM obtained documents through the Freedom of Information Act, which revealed a money trail between the DGAC and the egg industry. The DGAC is intended to be an unbiased collection of nutrition experts, but the lawsuit illustrates the committee’s reliance on studies funded by the egg industry, particularly studies mandated by the US Department of Agriculture to be “directed towards increasing the general demand for eggs, [and] egg products.” The dietary guidelines are updated every five years and serve to not only inform the public of healthful eating habits but also as the basis for funding for public programs including schools—in which animal-product lobbyists are notoriously active and receive taxpayer funds through check off programs to keep dairy, eggs, and other animal products on school menus.
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