“The American Bakers Association (ABA) applauds the hard work of Congressman Roskam and the many other Members of Congress toward protecting the health of women and infants in the 2015 Dietary Guidelines,” said ABA President & CEO, Robb MacKie. “This bi-partisan support for the role of grain foods fortified with folic acid is critical to the continued improvement of the health of women and infants.”
In a letter to Secretary of Health and Human Services, Sylvia Burwell, and Secretary of Agriculture, Tom Vilsack, Rep. Peter Roskam (R-IL-06), Rep. Roybal-Allard (D-CA-40), and 58 other Members of Congress called on USDA and HHS to clarify the importance of folic acid in enriched grains in the Dietary Guidelines set to be finalized in fall of 2015.
In February, the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (DGAC) released its report which mistakenly included enriched grains in the refined grains category and urged a reduction of consumption. Folic Acid fortification of enriched grains has led to the a 36 percent reduction of Neural Tube Defects (NTDs) since 1998, a success that Center on Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) touted as one of the top ten health achievements of the decade.
“If USDA and HHS fail to recognize the importance of folic acid fortified grains, it would be a big setback for women and infants’ health, particularly in the Hispanic community where NTDs are much more prevalent.” added Mike Goscinski, ABA Manager of Government Relations and Public Affairs.
“We look forward to working with the Departments of Health & Human Services and Agriculture in developing a strong, science-based dietary guidelines that communicate the vital role of both enriched and whole grains in a healthy, balanced diet,” said MacKie.
In addition to ABA, the following groups have expressed support for Congressman Roskam’s letter to USDA and HHS:
- American Bakers Association
- Spina Bfida Association
- March of Dimes Foundation
- Grain Foods Foundation
- Wheat Foods Council
- Independent Bakers Association
- USA Rice Federation
- North American Millers Association
- National Pasta Association
- Tortilla Industry Association