DIETARY GUIDELINES: Judge Okays Release of Revised Rules
U.S. District Judge James Robertson Friday rejected a petition to block the government's revision of dietary guidelines based on charges that they are biased in favor of the meat and dairy industries. Vegetarians and racial minority groups argue that the guidelines stress meat and dairy consumption, failing to address the needs of minority groups -- who are more likely to be lactose intolerant than whites. The suit, filed by the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine and other organizations, charged that at least six members of the federal advisory committee assigned to revise the guidelines have ties to the industries. The suit calls for the inclusion of "at least one representative of people who use federal nutrition programs." But Justice Department lawyer Meredith Manning argued that the panelists are top nutrition experts and accused the plaintiffs of "trying to get a major change in food policy enacted through the judicial branch when they can't get that enacted through the executive and legislative branches." Declining to halt the new guidelines' release, Robertson said that the revision "was unlikely to include any major changes from the current version." (Brasher, AP/Spokane Spokesman-Review, 1/29).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.