Every 5 years, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and Department
of Health and Human Services (HHS) issues a new edition of the Dietary
Guidelines. These are dietary
recommendations for Americans to practice healthy eating habits.
Shaped by the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (DGAC), these guidelines have an enormous impact on US perceptions and behaviors regarding nutrition and health, which is why it’s critical to communicate the science on coffee and health.
Setting the stage for the next evolution in dietary guidance to Americans for 2020-2025
Editor’s note: The connection between lifestyle and health is increasingly being recognized by the medical and scientific communities. We know that diet, exercise habits, and smoking and alcohol consumption impact our health. And as the science continues to advance, it seems there are new discoveries weekly.
To help Americans make healthy food and beverage choices, the U.S. Government issues Dietary Guidelines, which in the past have been communicated by USDA guides such as the Food Guide Pyramid and MyPlate.
When the USDA last undertook this exercise, the NCA formally recommended that the healthy aspects of coffee be recognized – and they were. The 2015-2020 Guidelines acknowledge that coffee can be part of a healthy diet.
And the process to update these guidelines is now well underway.
By Dr. Mark Corey, Director of Scientific & Government Affairs, National Coffee Association
Over the past two days, I attended the meeting of the 2020-2025
Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (DGAC) in Washington, DC, focused on
creating the protocol and guidelines shaping US nutrition and guidance to
Americans for the next 5 years.
Panels of experts are examining every aspect of the American diet, inside and out, and have outlined their process for evaluating the science-based evidence. Subcommittees are focused on a range of topics such as dietary patterns and looking across different age groups from birth to older adults.
A guide to California’s Prop. 65 and ongoing labeling legislation for the informed coffee drinker.
Overwhelming research shows that regular coffee consumption may be linked to a host of potential health benefits, from liver health to longevity.
Scientists believe that the secret lies in coffee’s complex chemistry: There are at least 300 natural compounds in one green bean, and about 1,000 more created in the roasting process – including caffeine (of course), antioxidants, and minerals.
Together, the various things that make up coffee create a delicious brew that can be part of a healthy lifestyle.
However, a long-running lawsuit under California’s controversial Prop 65 regulation has sought to force coffee companies to include “cancer warning labels” on coffee package labels and in coffee shops.
While the vast majority of reports have noted the lack of scientific evidence linking coffee to cancer, that kind of widespread publicity naturally creates more questions than answers. Such is the nature of the 24-hour news cycle, in which many people can’t afford the time to read beyond the headlines.
So as the two big Cs of coffee and cancer have shared the public stage, a third big C has swept over the audience: confusion.
On Thursday, Republican leaders announced that the controversial border adjustment provision, which threatened to saddle coffee imports with duties that could have added as much as 20% to declared values, has been dropped from the proposed tax plan.
“While we have debated the pro-growth benefits of border adjustability, we appreciate that there are many unknowns associated with it and have decided to set this policy aside in order to advance tax reform,” House, Senate and White House leaders working on a tax plan said in a joint statement Thursday, CNBC News reports.
“As a regressive tax borne largely by consumers, the proposal can hurt […] hundreds of independent roasters, coffee shops, restaurants, retailers, and suppliers. Aimed at promoting a healthy diet, the tax would have the opposite effect if applied to coffee.” – William M. Murray, CEO, NCA
The Seattle City Council will vote on introducing a “soda tax” in the city on Monday. The measure would put a one-cent per ounce tax on sugary beverages, and would impact coffee as collateral damage. Furthermore, small businesses would be disproportionately affected.
The National Coffee Association has submitted the following letter to the City Council to express the industry’s strong position on how the tax would severely impact the local coffee economy and that coffee should be exempt should any soda tax be ratified.
Tell the Seattle city council that levying a soda tax on coffee would have unintended and unanticipated consequences for the coffee industry and local businesses. Send an email to email@example.com, or call 206-684-8888.
Comments? Share your thoughts in the comments below, or get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The 2016 U.S. presidential election provoked deep passions across the U.S. that continue to be felt today, as the policy implications continue to unfold.
Last December, we took a first look at how coffee-related policies might be impacted by the election, while conceding that there was much yet to be discovered about the new administration.
Among the various initiatives under discussion by the new administration, a “border adjustment tax” potentially has huge implications not only for the coffee sector, but for every coffee drinker in the U.S. – more than 180 million Americans.
Most ironically, in the case of coffee a “border adjustment tax” could raise the price of everyone’s daily coffee, while not having the intended effect of “bringing jobs to America.”
After a deeply divisive campaign, a new administration is poised to assume power in Washington, having been elected on a platform which has expressed skepticism toward big government and regulatory intervention.
The transfer of power has only just begun, cabinet and agency appointments are a still in progress, and budget negotiations are far off – including the implications of funding cutbacks or additions.
In the meantime, we’re preparing for the changes that may be ahead. Earlier this year, the NCA released the first-ever Economic Impact Study to measure the U.S. coffee economy, and the NCA’s 2017 plan already includes outreach in Washington to raise awareness of the industry’s importance. That outreach will now take on even greater significance as the coming months unfold.
The NCA will not speculate as to what these changes in Washington may mean for coffee. But it’s never too soon to begin planning, and here are some key issues on the industry’s docket: