The Beer Institute and the Brewers Association filed written comments with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) highlighting numerous scientific and procedural issues that undermine the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee’s recommendation to halve the moderate alcohol consumption guidelines for men.
“For three decades, the Dietary Guidelines for Americans have defined moderate alcohol consumption as up to one drink per day for women and up to two drinks per day for men. The preponderance of the evidence the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee reviewed supported, at a minimum, maintaining this standard,” said Jim McGreevy, president and CEO of the Beer Institute. “Suddenly changing the moderate consumption alcohol guidelines without a sound scientific basis will only create confusion for policymakers, healthcare professionals, and consumers.”
“Beer is enjoyed responsibly by millions of adults every day. Basing the Dietary Guidelines in sound science will mean Americans can trust the recommendations for how they should continue to enjoy alcohol in moderation if they choose to drink,” said Bob Pease, president and CEO of the Brewers Association.
The joint comments point to several instances where the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee acted outside the parameters set forth by the USDA to follow the National Academy of Sciences’ standard for scientific review. These examples included placing unwarranted reliance on out-of-scope studies, failing to meet the committee charter’s standards for transparency, and providing ungraded new science as justification to change the current moderate consumption guideline for alcohol consumption.
The comments also propose commonsense recommendations for the final Dietary Guidelines that are supported by sound science: Maintain the current moderate alcohol consumption guidelines; advise adults who are 21-years old and older to talk to a trusted healthcare professional about concerns about alcohol consumption; urge adults to know the differences between the types, sizes, and alcohol content of alcohol beverages they consume; and encourage people to consume food and stay hydrated while drinking alcohol.