The nutritional value of grain foods was a key comment on Jan. 14 before the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (DGAC). The Committee heard comments on behalf of the grain industry from distinguished Professor and Registered Dietitian Joanne Slavin, RD, PhD, of the Department of Food and Nutrition at the University of Minnesota. She made comments endorsing the extension of the 2010 Dietary Guidelines that recommend Americans consume six servings daily making at least half of all grain foods, whole grain.

“Whole grains are widely recognized for their health benefits, and enriched grains offer a unique nutritional package that has proven to reduce diseases and some birth defects. Both play an important positive role in the American diet,” says Slavin, a former 2010 DGAC member who testified on behalf of the grain industry coalition group, informally known as the Grain Chain.

The Grain Chain supports the DGAC’s commitment to making dietary recommendations that are grounded in sound science, and encourages the DGAC to continue to provide attainable and consistent goals to Americans that offer a meaningful impact on health. Members of the Grain Chain and their constituencies are dedicated to helping Americans meet their nutritional goals for whole grain consumption. In fact, the United States is the leader in whole grain product introductions having introduced 466 new whole grain products on the market in 2010 alone.

In addition, based on current scientific research, the Grain Chain emphasized in its statement that:

Including a combination of both whole and enriched grain foods improves Americans’ intake of fiber, B vitamins, vitamin D and iron;

In 2011, the CDC reported fortification of folic acid to enriched grains has resulted in a decrease in neural tube birth defects by 36% in the U.S. making it one of the top ten health achievements in the first decade of this century; and

Multiple cross?sectional studies have shown that increased whole grain consumption is positively associated with reduced BMI.

The Grain Chain is an industry collaboration representing 10 organizations that represent grain producers, millers, bakers and allied manufacturers, including the American Bakers Association (ABA), AIB International, Grain Foods Foundation (GFF), Grains for Health Foundation (GFH), Independent Bakers Association (IBA), National Association of Wheat Growers (NAWG), National Pasta Association (NPA), North American Millers’ Association (NAMA), The Wheat Foods Council (WFC), and USA Rice Federation.

To view a copy of the official oral statement, visit

The American Bakers Association (ABA) is the Washington D.C.?based voice of the wholesale baking industry. Since 1897, ABA has represented the interests of bakers before the U.S. Congress, federal agencies, and international regulatory authorities. ABA advocates on behalf of more than 700 baking facilities and baking company suppliers. ABA members produce bread, rolls, crackers, bagels, sweet goods, tortillas and many other wholesome, nutritious baked products for America’s families. The baking industry generates more than $103 billion in economic activity annually and employs 633,000 highly skilled people.

American Institute of Baking International (AIB) is a corporation founded by the North American wholesale and retail baking industries in 1919 as a technology transfer center for bakers and food processors. The original mission of the organization was to "put science to work for the baker," which is still central to all of the programs, products, and services provided by AIB to baking and general food production industries worldwide.

Grain Foods Foundation (GFF), a joint venture of members of the milling, baking and allied industries formed in 2004, is dedicated to advancing the public understanding of the beneficial role grain?based foods play in the human diet. Directed by a board of trustees, funding for the Foundation is provided through voluntary donations from private grain?based food companies and is supplemented by industry associations.

Grains for Health Foundation (GFH) was founded in 2009 to increase the availability of affordable grain based foods with health benefits to improve public health. Grains for Health forges partnerships with food and health leaders to develop evidence?based strategies that facilitate the development, delivery, and consumption of grain?based foods that promote public health, lower the incidence of diet related chronic disease, and curb health care costs.

Independent Bakers Association (IBA) The Independent Bakers Association is a Washington, D.C. based national trade association of over 400 mostly family owned wholesale bakeries and allied industry trades. The Association was founded in 1968 to protect the interests of independent wholesale bakers.

National Association of Wheat Growers (NAWG) is a federation of 21 state wheat grower associations that works to represent the needs and interests of wheat producers before Congress and federal agencies. Based in Washington, D.C., NAWG is grower?governed and grower?funded, and works in areas as diverse as federal farm policy, trade, environmental regulation, research and climate change.

National Pasta Association (NPA) Founded in 1904, NPA is an organization of pasta and pasta?related product manufacturers, millers and suppliers to the US pasta industry serving as a cohesive industry advocate, a promoter of pasta and a center of knowledge for its members, the government and the public. and

North American Millers’ Association (NAMA) is the trade association of the wheat, corn, oat, and rye milling industries. Member companies operate mills in 38 states and Canada, representing more than 90 percent of total industry production capacity.

The Wheat Foods Council (WFC) is a nonprofit organization formed in 1972 to help increase public awareness of grains, complex carbohydrates, and fiber as essential components of a healthful diet. The Council is supported voluntarily by wheat producers, millers, and related industries.

USA Rice Federation is the global advocate for all segments of the U.S. rice industry with a mission to promote and protect the interests of producers, millers, merchants and allied businesses. Over 20 billion pounds of long, medium, and short grain, and organic and specialty rice is grown and harvested each year by farmers in Arkansas, California, Louisiana, Texas, Mississippi and Missouri.