Conflicts of interest among Dietary Guidelines advisers

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.

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4 thoughts on “Conflicts of interest among Dietary Guidelines advisers”

  1. What is Grassley’s position on sugar subsidies?
    World price of sugar is quite low, but the government has a floor price limiting imports.
    Candy companies have moved to Canada because of this.
    Soda companies use corn syrup. Iowa produces a lot of corn.
    Corn can be used to make ethanol fuel. So can cane sugar, which is cheaper on the world market.
    Grassley should take a good look at his conflicts of interest.

    1. Jon Swenson,

      Re: That Federal, USELESS Dietary Bureaucracy

      In 1934, a team of scientists
      had reported to Congress—
      how farm soils were severely
      depleted of nutrients for healthy
      food crops.

      And in 2023 ?

      Why a high-end muti-vitamin
      is essential for children and
      adults ( a separate mineral
      tablet, may be as well ? ).

      Consider all of those drink-
      as-much-as-you-like soda
      bars—in every fast-food
      restaurant ( from DuckDuckGo:
      . . . A 12-ounce regular soda has more
      than 10 teaspoons of added sugar . . . ).

      A few books about the ( deadly )
      danger of sugar, from my library :

      “The Sugar Addict’s
      Recovery Program,”
      by Kathleen DesMaisonn
      ( 2000 ); page 8,
      “. . . miraculous turn-
      around . . . I had : their
      depression lifted; they
      got clear, focused, and
      purposeful; and many
      lost weight.”

      “If You Suffer From Acne * Allergies * Anxiety * Asthma
      Constipation * Depression * Diarrhea * Earaches *
      Fatigue * Headaches * Infertility * Lost Sex Drive *
      Poor Memory * Muscle Weakness * Persistent Cough *
      Premenstrual Syndrome * Recurrent Vaginitis * Skin
      Irritations * . . . You May Be A Victim Of
      The Yeast
      Syndrome—How To Help Your Doctor Identify And Treat
      The Real Cause Of Your Yeast-Related Illness,”
      by Trowbridge/Walker ( 1986 ); page 149,
      “. . . high dietary intake of any form of sugar
      . . . is a known promoter of fungal growth . . .”

      S U G A R
      I Kicked My Sugar
      Habit and Created
      A Joyful Sugar Free
      Life,” by Karly Pitman
      ( 2010 ); page 179,
      “Don’t Tempt Your-
      self with Holiday

      “Sugar Blues,” by
      William Dufty ( 1975 );
      page 136, “Sugar taken
      every day produces a
      continuously over-acid
      condition, and more and
      more minerals are re-
      quired from deep in the
      body in the attempt to
      to rectify the imbalance
      . . . so much calcium is
      taken from the bones
      and teeth that decay and
      general weakening begin”

      And you wonder why so
      many, many people appear
      to suffer illnesses and
      obesity ?


  2. Providing labor to New World sugar cane plantations, were business of Arab slave trade in Africa. One more strike against sugar. Even worse. the New World turned that sugar in to demon rum, and not candy bars.

    One more food substance that radically changed the world, much like the salt trade. Can we turn the clock back and undo the damage the sugar trade wreaked upon our fair shores?

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