Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) is questioning "serious conflict of interest" among advisers on the government's newest Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee named to serve from 2025-2030.
The panel is responsible for making dietary policy recommendations.
Like many government advisory panels, it is staffed with members connected to industries who could benefit from the recommendations. Though some advocates say people connected to the industries impacted should be barred from serving as advisers, the government allows the conflicts, as long as they are disclosed.
Grassley is questioning current disclosures, which fail to connect each reported financial conflict of interest to the specific member it pertains to.
Grassley cites previous concerns about the makeup of the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee. They surround Dr. Fatima Stanford, "who has made tens of thousands of dollars for her promotion of weight loss and obesity drug."
Grassley says the Departments of Agriculture and Health and Human Services are obstructing transparency and refusing to release committee members’ Confidential Financial Disclosure Reports.
Read more information from Sen. Grassley below.
U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) is continuing to push for transparency from the Secretaries of Agriculture and Health and Human Services regarding members of the 2025-2030 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (DGAC) who may bring serious conflicts of interest to their work on the committee.
Despite Grassley’s previous concerns about potential conflicts of interest among DGAC members, particularly regarding the appointment of Dr. Fatima Cody Stanford, who has made tens of thousands of dollars for her promotion of weight loss and obesity drugs, the Departments of Agriculture and Health and Human Services have thus far refused to provide clarity by releasing committee members’ Confidential Financial Disclosure Reports. This continued obscurity defies the recommendations of a 2017 report issued by the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM), which advised releasing “any known conflicts” during the committee selection process.
After Grassley’s previous letter, HHS released a four page report on the 2025 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee’s disclosures and potential conflicts of interest. However, these disclosures were aggregated and not attributed to individual committee members.
In a letter to USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack and HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra, Grassley once again called for the release of these confidential financial disclosures and requested that DGAC suspend writing any new dietary recommendations until conflicts of interest have been resolved.
“If you continue to ignore these recommendations, you will again fail to deliver nutrition recommendations that policymakers, healthcare professionals, educators, and families across the country can rely on. Ignoring these recommendations has become a pattern that goes against the will of Congress, and prevents HHS and USDA from transparent policy making,” Grassley continued.
Read Grassley's letter at the link.