WASHINGTON – The North American Meat Institute (NAMI) has launched a Change.org petition against the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (DGAC) report that recommends consumers eat less red and processed meat.

The petition urges the Secretaries of Health and Human Services and Agriculture to reject the DGAC's recommendations and embrace meat and poultry as part of a healthy and balanced diet. The petition states in part: “Hot dog, sausage, bacon and salami-lovers throughout the land stand together as Americans in favor of a balanced diet that includes meat and poultry of all kinds. We stand together as people who value personal choice and reject taxes on foods that elite academics deem unhealthy. We assert ourselves as intelligent, free thinking people capable of making decisions that are best for our families’ nutrition needs, traditions and personal budgets,” the petition says. “In response to the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee’s recent, anemic recommendations to eat lower amounts of red and processed meats we say, unequivocally and without hesitation, ‘Hands off my hot dog!’”

NAMI has criticized the report because it overlooks the importance of lean meat as part of a healthy diet. The group also challenged the committee’s recommendation that Americans should consider sustainability when making decisions about what to eat. NAMI recently requested an extension for public comments on the committee report.

“We hope our petition will give a voice to the 95 percent of Americans who make meat and poultry part of a balanced diet and who want to ensure that no restrictions or taxes are placed upon their dietary choices,” said Barry Carpenter, NAMI president and CEO. “While the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee may think consumers aren’t capable of making common sense nutrition decisions and must be taxed and restricted, we believe Americans are intelligent people and we want their voices to be heard.”

TheReport of the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committeewas submitted to the Secretaries of Health and Human Services and Agriculture. The report will serve as the basis for the eighth edition of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans.