Center for Biological Diversity

For Immediate Release, September 30, 2014

Contact: Stephanie Feldstein, (734) 395-0770

U.S. Dietary Guidelines Must Include Reduced Meat, Dairy to Meet Sustainability Goals

WASHINGTON— Newly proposed U.S. dietary guidelines should include meat and dairy reductions to create a sustainable food system in the United States that helps curb climate change, reduce environmental destruction and protect wildlife, according to comments submitted today by the Center for Biological Diversity. The U.S. Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee, currently in the process of reviewing scientific evidence and public comments for the 2015 Dietary Guidelines, is taking sustainability concerns into account for the first time.

“I applaud the advisory committee for considering sustainability concerns in the next set of dietary guidelines,” said Stephanie Feldstein, director of the population and sustainability program at the Center. “But in order for the American diet to be sustainable, it must include drastic cuts in meat and dairy consumption.”

If Americans followed the current dietary guidelines, it would result in a 12 percent increase in diet-related greenhouse gas emissions, largely due to increased dairy consumption, according to a new study by University of Michigan researchers published in the Journal of Industrial Ecology this month.

“Study after study points to livestock production as a key driver of climate change, habitat loss and other threats to wildlife and the planet,” Feldstein said. “We simply can’t achieve sustainable food systems through organic produce or eating local alone — addressing our oversized appetite for meat and dairy has to be part of the picture.”

The Center for Biological Diversity’s Take Extinction Off Your Plate campaign highlights the environmental impacts of meat production and urges Americans to reduce their environmental footprint and help save wildlife by eating less meat. More than 18,000 people have already taken the Center’s “Earth-friendly Diet Pledge” to reduce their meat consumption.

Read more about the Center’s Take Extinction Off Your Plate campaign.

The Center for Biological Diversity is a national, nonprofit conservation organization with more than 775,000 members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places.

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