Industry seeks to extend comment period for guidelines

by Jeff Gelski
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WASHINGTON – A coalition of 19 food and beverage industry groups wants more time to respond to the scientific report from the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee. The report, which appeared in the Feb. 23 edition of the Federal Register, currently provides for a 45-day comment period, or until April 8. The coalition has requested a 120-day comment period.

“The D.G.A.C. spent nearly 2 years reviewing the body of the evidence to formulate the report,” the coalition said in a letter dated Feb. 20. “A mere 45 days does not allow adequate time for interested stakeholders to review the 571-page report as well as the work completed by the Nutrition Evidence Library.

“The agencies have encouraged a transparent collaborative process, yet a limited time for review does not allow for such a process. Such a short comment period runs the risk of appearing to exclude meaningful comment. A 120-day comment period will allow for a more insightful response to the D.G.A.C. report, which will be useful as the agencies develop the final policy, while not compromising the agencies’ deadlines for issuing the policy document.”

A public meeting on the D.G.A.C. report is scheduled for March 24 in Bethesda, Md. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the U.S. Department of Agriculture should release the Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2015 later this year.

Groups in the coalition include:

*Alliance for Potato Research and Education

*American Bakers Association

*American Beverage Association

*American Frozen Food Institute

*Calorie Control Council

*Corn Refiners Association

*Grocery Manufacturers Association

*Independent Bakers Association

*Institute of Shortening and Edible Oils

*International Dairy Foods Association

*Juice Products Association

*National Association of Wheat Growers

*National Pasta Association

*National Restaurant Association

*North American Meat Institute

*North American Millers’ Association

*Snack Food Association

*USA Rice Federation

*Wheat Foods Council.
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