A US consumer group has called on the Bush administration to remove seven of the 13 experts named to revise America’s Dietary Guidelines because of their links with the food industry.

The guidelines, which are published every five years, provide a summary of the scientific consensus on what constitutes a healthy diet. The current version advises people to be physically active, to eat a variety of grain, fruit and vegetables and to limit intake of fat, sugar and salt, reported Reuters.

The Bush administration last week appointed members to its Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee in order to start work on the next version, due in 2005.

The Center for Science in the Public Interest expressed its concerns about seven members of the committee who have received research and consulting money from the food and drug industries.

“At a time of great concern over obesity, diabetes, and other diet-related diseases, the extent of those biases should have disqualified them from membership on such an important committee,” Michael Jacobson, executive director of the consumer group, was quoted by Reuters as saying.

The US department of agriculture said the members were all respected experts in their fields and would not be replaced.