ABA pushes food science experts for the DGAC

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WASHINGTON — As the nomination window closed for nominations to the 2025 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee, the American Bakers Association worked with the Food and Beverage Issue Alliance and the Grain Chain to formally voice concerns about dairy-based foods. cereals. On July 15, the ABA submitted its recommendations to the DGAC in letters to the US Department of Agriculture and the US Department of Health and Human Services.

In its letter under the auspices of the FBIA, the ABA said the 2025-2030 Dietary Guidelines for Americans include a question regarding “ultra-processed foods” that would require expertise to address.

“In fact, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine reports on the DGA processes of 2015 and 2020 identified the need to have the right mix of credentialed experts in fields relevant to all the issues that the DGAC is responsible for addressing,” the ABA said.

The ABA has required each representative appointed to the DGAC to be an expert with a well-known record of distinguished service in the fields of nutrition, research, health or food science and technology.

“Our organizations strongly recommend that there are at least two food scientists with a solid understanding of the science and engineering behind how foods are formulated, manufactured, packaged and stored included in the DGAC 2025” , indicates the letter.

“As recommended in NASEM’s 2017 report on the DGA review process, DGAC membership should be diverse, not only with respect to gender, ethnic and cultural diversity, but also a diversity of perspectives” , said the ABA. “Furthermore, when analyzing the scientific evidence, additional experts should also be brought in to brief the committee on the questions/topics posed, including technical experts with experience in manufacturing, processing and food packaging, as well as scientific and regulatory affairs and expertise in food marketing to the general population.

The ABA warned that if the appropriate relevant expertise is not adequately represented among DGAC 2025 members, “then a full evidence-based assessment for this issue would be impeded. “processed” or “ultra-processed” foods that do not reflect the preponderance of scientific evidence.”

Opposing recent suggestions that any potential link to the food and agriculture industry would create overwhelming conflict for potential committee members, the ABA said: “Our organizations believe that experts who are appointed to the DGAC can and will be objective in their review and assessment of scientific evidence, and therefore should not be prevented from participating in the DGAC if their expertise was essential for the development of practical and actionable recommendations.

In a separate letter from the Grain Chain, a grain industry coalition representing farmers, millers, grain processors and end users, the ABA provided further recommendations for the upcoming White House conference on hunger, nutrition and health. In the letter from the grain chain, the ABA endorsed the FBIA’s comments and provided its specific input to the grain industry “to emphasize the essential role of grain foods in healthy diets, both in the United States and the world”.

The ABA urged the White House Conference to use “robust, evidence-based criteria to create recommendations consistent with federal nutrition policy rules.” The letter urged conference organizers to clearly define terminology for food descriptors, including “nutrient-dense”, “non-dairy”, “meat-free alternatives”, “ultra-processed”, “processed” and “lightly processed”. transformed”.

“Definitions should be data and evidence-based with a clear consensus around scientific evidence,” the ABA said. “As grain producers, processors and food manufacturers who provide some of the most widely consumed and universally enjoyed staples in the American diet – wholemeal (grain) and enriched breads, crackers, cereals, pastas, tortillas and rice – we stand ready to work with government and industry to identify steps towards a healthier America and, most importantly, put those steps into concrete action.

Every five years, the USDA and HHS release dietary guidelines for Americans. The DGAC 2025 will review the scientific evidence on the topics and questions identified by the ministry and provide a report on its findings. The committee’s report, along with comments from public agencies, will help inform the USDA and HHS’s development of the 2025-2030 Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

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