Meat industry fights new dietary proposal

WASHINGTON (AP) — The meat industry is aggressively fighting proposed new dietary guidelines that recommend people eat less red and processed meat.

The proposal last month from a government advisory committee also relegates the health benefits of lean meat to a footnote to the main recommendations.

The meat industry says its push is about the perception of red meat, rather than just dollars. Meat companies have tried to rehabilitate an image tarnished in recent years by both health and environmental concerns.

The departments of Agriculture and Health and Human Services will come out with final guidelines by December.

Industry executives are meeting with officials and asking them to prominently recommend lean meats as part of a healthy diet — as was the case in the past.

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