The North American Meat Institute has formally requested an extension on the comment period for the Scientific Report of the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee from 45 days to 120 days.
NAMI said the extension request would allow more time to provide a "thorough and meaningful review and comment."
According to NAMI Vice President of Scientific Affairs Betsy Booren, Ph.D., the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee spent nearly two years reviewing the body of the evidence to formulate the report.
Providing stakeholders with only 45 days to review the 571-page report and the Nutrition Evidence Library isn't enough time, she said.
"The agencies have encouraged a transparent collaborative process, yet a limited time for review does not allow for such a process. Such a short comment period runs the risk of appearing to exclude meaningful comment," Booren said. "The 120-day comment period will provide the most insightful response to the DGAC report, which will be useful as the agencies develop the final policy."
NAMI expressed disappointment in the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee's recommendations, which included a suggestion to eat lower amounts of red and processed meat while at the same time carrying a footnote that said lean meat can be part of a healthy, balanced diet.
The Institute also objected to the Advisory Committee's focus on sustainability, which the group said is outside the committee's charter.
"Lean meat's relegation to a footnote ignores the countless studies and data that the Committee reviewed for the last two years that showed unequivocally that meat and poultry are among the most nutrient dense foods available," said NAMI President and CEO Barry Carpenter in a statement last week. "Lean meat is a headline, not a footnote," he added.