Military Meatless Mondays debated in Congress

by Ryan McCarthy
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WASHINGTON – The US House of Representatives is expected to vote on June 16 on a measure to block the United States’ military from adopting a “Meatless Monday” program.

Rep. Adrian Smith (R-Nebraska) proposed an amendment to the fiscal 2017 Defense Department appropriations bill that would prohibit the exclusion of meat from the military’s foodservice program.

Smith is trying to stop a “Meatless Monday” campaign by the Humane Society of the United States which advocates for schools, hospitals and the military to reduce meat offerings.

Earlier in the week, Sen. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) introduced legislation to prohibit the establishment of “Meatless Monday” as well.

In her amendment, Ernst cited the federal government’s dietary guidelines as a reason to not alter the  military’s meal program. 

US Sen. Joni Ernst
Sen. Joni Earnst, R-Iowa 

“The push for ‘Meatless Mondays’ in our military is misguided at best, and goes against dietary guidelines,” said Ernst in a statement to Pro Ag on June 13. “Our men and women in uniform should have the option to consume the protein they need, including meat, on a daily basis.”

The ‘Meatless Mondays’ topic has been a topic of debate especially since 2012, when the US Dept. of Agriculture endorsed the idea, but then quickly rescinded it.

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