The nonprofit advocacy group Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) has brought suit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California seeking to prevent the U.S. Departments of Agriculture (USDA) and Health and Human Services (HHS) from adopting a recommendation of the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (DGAC). The DGAC is a joint committee formed by USDA and HHS that recommended the agencies drop from the newly issued 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans the advice that healthy individuals limit their daily dietary cholesterol consumption to 300 milligrams per day. PCRM seeks to permanently enjoin the agencies from incorporating the recommendation into the guidelines and to instead maintain current recommended daily limits.
The complaint alleges the data underlying the DGAC’s recommendation is not “fairly balanced” within the meaning of the Federal Advisory Committee Act because it omits evidence unfavorable to the egg industry. Rather, PCRM contends that the DGAC recommendation was “inappropriately influenced” by industry special interests because it is premised on studies funded by egg industry associations that omit evidence linking cholesterol intake to health risks. And, because there is a long-standing history of studies confirming such a link, the advisory recommendation is fundamentally misleading to members of the public.