Congressman Matt Cartwright, who represents Pennsylvania’s 17th congressional district, recently penned a feature published in media outlet Fast Company to urge the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to prioritize a plant-based diet in its forthcoming 2020 Dietary Guidelines—a set of recommendations that is compiled by a committee of presumably unbiased scientists. “What should drive our nation’s dietary priorities must be good for both the American people and the planet—otherwise there’s no way to sustain it,” Cartwright said. “And there is no question that a plant-based diet is key to sustainability and our survival.” Cartwright explained that the United States will not be able to feed a projected population of 9.7 billion people in 2050 due to the negative environmental impacts of animal agriculture. The congressman suggested that the USDA promote plant-based foods because they are inexpensive and nutritionally equivalent to animal-based foods. The most recent set of Dietary Guidelines revised in 2015 removed the upper-limit recommendation on cholesterol consumption—a move that medical group Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine believes was influenced by animal-agriculture lobbyists.
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