The American Bakers Association’s (ABA) senior vice president of government relations and public affairs, Lee Sanders, in late May led members of Grain Chain in conducting meetings with agency representatives and members of Congress influential to the completion of the 2015 Dietary Guidelines.

The group held constructive discussions with U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) officials, including Richard Olson, HHS director of prevention science, and Kevin Concannon, USDA undersecretary for food, nutrition and consumer services.

Members of Grain Chain highlighted the importance of whole and enriched grains in the American diet, as well as concerns over the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committees (DGAC) discussions on gluten and the expanded scope that includes sustainability. The group also discussed the importance of using sound science as a basis for the DGAC’s recommendations. Additionally at USDA, ABA discussed the need for additional implementation flexibility for whole-grain buns and rolls in the school meal program.