Washington, DC – Following the release of the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee’s (DGAC) Scientific Report, the American Bakers Association (ABA) is strongly urging the U.S. Departments of Agriculture (USDA) and Health and Human Services (HHS) to consider a more balanced recommendation for grains in the final 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans.
An 835-page Scientific Report published by the DGAC on July 15, 2020, touted the importance of whole grains in the diet but diminished the important health benefits of enriched grains.
“While the report clearly outlined the nutritional benefits of whole grains, it unfortunately diminishes the undeniable, scientifically-backed nutritional importance of enriched grains in the American diet,” said Lee Sanders, Senior Vice President of Government Relations and Public Affairs, ABA. “The required enrichment of folic acid in enriched/refined grains has been hailed as one of the top public health achievements of the 21st century by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as an important, efficient and economical way to decrease the chances for neural tube defects in infants. In our public comments to the DGAC, ABA and the Grain Chain will certainly focus on this issue.”
The report, however, did recognize the importance of iron-fortified cereals as “essential to healthy growth and development.”
“It is important to note the report identified whole grains as one of three foods fundamental to a healthy diet and also affirmed the value of plant-based diets, of which grains are a key component,” said Sanders. “We urge USDA and HHS to include enriched grain recommendations in the 2020 Guidelines. ABA and the Grain Chain will be providing strong, compelling, science-backed research to support the facts.”
The public is encouraged to submit written comments to USDA and HHS on the Scientific Report of the 2020 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee. The public comment period will end on August 13, 2020.
The American Bakers Association (ABA) is the Washington D.C.-based voice of the wholesale baking industry. Since 1897, ABA has worked to increase protection from costly government overreach, build the talent pool of skilled workers with specialized training programs, and forge industry alignment by establishing a more receptive environment to grow the baking industry. ABA advocates on behalf of more than 1,000 baking facilities and baking company suppliers. ABA members produce bread, rolls, cookies, crackers, bagels, sweet goods, tortillas, and many other wholesome, nutritious, baked products feeding America’s families. The baking industry generates more than $153 billion in economic activity annually and employs more than 799,500 highly skilled people.