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Release No. 0320.10
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USDA Office of Communications (202)720-4623
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Public Comment Period Opens on Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee Report

Public Meeting Slated for July 8, 2010

WASHINGTON, June 15, 2010 -- Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius today announced that public comments are now being accepted on the Report of the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee on the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2010 (Advisory Report). Individuals and organizations are encouraged to view the Advisory Report now posted along with public comments at www.dietaryguidelines.gov. Written comments will be accepted from June 15, 2010 to July 15, 2010. Oral testimony may be provided at a public meeting to be held in Washington, DC, on July 8, 2010.

"We appreciate the hard work and guidance of the Committee and the expertise of its members. Their commitment to this endeavor assures the public that their report reflects the most current, comprehensive, evidence-based nutritional science available. The Advisory Report will provide USDA and HHS with a strong foundation for preparing the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, which will be released at the end of this year. We look forward to receiving comments from the public that will help USDA and HHS translate these recommendations into meaningful policies and messages for the American people," said Secretary Tom Vilsack and Secretary Kathleen Sebelius in a joint statement.

The 13 independent experts that make up the 2010 Advisory Committee are affiliated with universities throughout the country and are nationally recognized in the fields of nutrition and health. The Committee held six public meetings during the last two years. The process has been open and transparent, with transcripts of all written and oral public comments and meeting minutes posted online along with recordings of the webinars. The use of webinar technology for the public meetings has increased public access and audience participation throughout the deliberative process and afforded additional opportunities for the public to submit comments and data to the committee. The enhanced access resulted in an average meeting attendance of 350 as compared to an average attendance of 140 in 2005.

Following the public comment period on the Advisory Report, USDA and HHS will consider these and other comments as they translate the Advisory Report of the Committee into the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. Secretary Vilsack and Secretary Sebelius will release the 2010 Dietary Guidelines policy document jointly at the end of 2010.

The USDA Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion (CNPP) had the administrative lead for the 2010 review and, for the first time, provided the Committee with support from its new Nutrition Evidence Library (NEL). To increase public access to the deliberative process, CNPP created a dedicated online database to receive, sort, and manage all public comments on the work of the committee during the past two years by topic area for quick reference by the public.

First published in 1980, the Dietary Guidelines are mandated by Congress to be reviewed, updated and released by USDA and HHS every five years. The Dietary Guidelines contain the latest, science-based nutritional and dietary guidance for the general public. They are the foundation for federal nutrition education and promotion programs, as well as the basis for the federal food assistance programs.

The availability of the Advisory Report is announced in the June 15, 2010 edition of the Federal Register. An electronic copy of the Advisory Report is available at www.dietaryguidelines.gov or may be viewed in hard copy at the Reference Desk of the USDA National Agricultural Library.

Written comments can be submitted at www.dietaryguidelines.gov or mailed to Carole Davis, Co-Executive Secretary, Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee, USDA Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion, Room 1034, Alexandria, VA 22302.

To provide oral testimony at the July 8 public meeting, you must register by going to www.dietaryguidelines.gov or by calling Crystal Tyler at (202) 314-4701 prior to 5 p.m. EDT on June 30. The meeting will be held in the Jefferson Auditorium in the USDA South Building, 14th Street and Independence Avenue, S.W., on July 8 beginning at 9:00 a.m. and ending no later than 5:00 p.m.

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