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Stop False Advertising: Change the Name of the "Dietary Guidelines for Americans"

This petition had 8,065 supporters

Every five years, the U.S. Departments of Agriculture (USDA) issues its “Dietary Guidelines for Americans” with the claim of providing recommendations for healthy eating choices to Americans, but that name is misleading. The so-called “Dietary Guidelines for Americans” are not dietary guidelines as much as they are guidelines on how the government tries to balance public health recommendations and corporate interests. Sign this petition to ask the USDA and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to stop false advertising and change the name of the “Dietary Guidelines for Americans” to “Food Policy Guidelines for America”.

At a quick glance, the USDA’s dietary guidelines seem like a straightforward guide for healthy eating and diet strictly based purely on science, medicine, and nutrition. In reality, the USDA’S guidelines are formed with strong input from 1) public health and nutrition experts and 2) corporate lobbyists from the dairy, meat, agriculture, and manufacturing industries. These guidelines are not what top nutrition experts think is best for Americans to eat for personal, public, and planetary health. Instead, the recommendations are swayed by a wide-range of government priorities, including corporate ones. The USDA's report is a guideline for food policy, not legitimate dietary recommendations, and the name of their report should reflect that.

We’re not saying that corporate input in decision-making is always bad, but the government has a responsibility to be upfront and honest with its citizens. For national dietary recommendations, the USDA should promote the scientific Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee Report instead of their half-corporate-based “Dietary Guidelines for Americans”.  A name change - and nothing more - would help clarify to the general public that the “Dietary Guidelines for Americans” are not the most reliable source of dietary recommendations.

Our government should not be in the business of false advertising, especially for an issue as important as nutrition and healthy eating. The USDA’s recommendations are not “Dietary Guidelines for Americans”. They are “Food Policy Guidelines for America”. Sign my petition to call upon the USDA and HHS to petition Congress for a bill authorizing a name change accordingly. It is the very least that we, the people, deserve.


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