ARLINGTON, VA - As we move closer to updated Dietary Guidelines for Americans, the Grain Chain coalition, of which USA Rice is a member, submitted written comments earlier this month to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) on the Scientific Report of the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee.
The Grain Chain's written responses to the Scientific Report support and extend the oral testimony, delivered in March on behalf of the grain industry by Professor Glenn Gaesser, PhD, of Arizona State University, and provide more detailed justification for the recommendations. (see "Grain Industry Provides Comments on 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Report," USA Rice Daily, March 24, 2015
"The grain industry fully endorses the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee's decision to 'bring forward' the recommendation of the 2010 Dietary Guidelines that called for half of all grain intake to come from whole grains," said Katie Maher, USA Rice's manager of domestic promotion. "But we also emphasized the importance of using the term 'enriched grains' in the guidelines when referring to refined grains, since more than 95% of the refined grains in the U.S. are enriched and fortified."
Maher added that throughout the Committee's report, emphasis is placed on targeted reduction of 'refined grains' so it is important to provide clear guidance to consumers regarding the differences between grain foods that are staples, and grain foods that are indulgences rather than lumping them all together in one category as 'refined grains.'
Additionally, USA Rice joined other grain groups as supporters of Rep. Peter Roskam's (IL-06) letter to the Secretaries of Agriculture and Health and Human Services urging the 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans address inconsistencies within the report-specifically with regard to enriched grains and their value in the American diet-by including specific and unambiguous language in the final recommendations distinguishing the difference between refined and enriched grains. Sixty Members of Congress have signed onto the letter as well.
The Federal government will determine how it will use the information in the Scientific Report as well as information submitted during the public comment period, as it develops the new national nutrition policy. HHS and USDA will jointly release the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2015 later this year.