The US government has partnered with McDonald's to increase the fast food giant's dairy use in a move the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine is calling 'irresponsible'.
Scientists with government-funded organization Dairy Management Inc. (DMI) worked closely with McDonald's to formulate recipes that use more dairy, to be implemented at over 14,000 locations nationwide.
Changes include the introduction of larger cheese slices, and more heavily dairy-laden beverages.
DMI works with fast-food restaurants to increase the use of dairy products in exchange for a cash injection from the dairy industry.
Companies that have worked with DMI include such major fast food brands as Taco Bell, Pizza Hut, and Wendy’s.
DMI Scientist Porter Myrick said: "The McDonald's employees are just as excited as we are to showcase the goodness and versatility of dairy.
"They understand, as we do, that creating offerings such as these gives consumers what they want, and it's also good for dairy farmers."
However, the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) argues the move is bad for consumers.
The non-profit - which consists of over 12,000 members - objects to the 'irresponsible' partnership due to health concerns.
The PCRM's renowned plant-based physician, Neal Barnard, MD, explained that cheese is a major source of saturated fat for Americans which is a significant contributor to America's number one killer - heart disease.
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) - a governmental organization - recommends that Americans limit saturated fat and sodium consumption.
However, the aim of the partnership - increasing dairy use - doesn't set consumers up for success, especially given that cheese is the number one source of sodium and saturated fat in the standard American diet.
Dr. Barnard said: "I'm not lovin' that the USDA is working with McDonald’s to push 30 percent more cheese on unsuspecting consumers."
Emily Court is a passionate ethical vegan from Eastern Canada. She is a Challenge 22 Mentor, Digital Writer, and experienced animal advocate driven by issues of animal liberation and social justice. She studied at Dalhousie University, where her thesis highlighted intercultural and gender relations. She is an established public speaker, writer, and world traveller with a drive to provide a voice to those who might not otherwise have one. You can follow her on Instagram @emily.j.court or on Twitter @_EmilyJCourt_.
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are prepared in the author's capacity and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Plant Based News itself.
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