Parsing the inaugural address of President Barack Obama for thoughts of specific relevance to grain-based foods offered little that promised great change. Instead of being disappointed, though, it is likely that industry executives felt the stirring of the American dream symbolized by the new president. Reflection on what Mr. Obama said at the Capitol offers assurance that the changes he committed to bring to domestic and foreign policy would affect the most basic of industries like grain-based foods in the same way that he sought to reach out to all Americans.

Hardly any part of the address pointed to an impact on grain-based foods more than his pledge to "restore science to its rightful place." While most people saw this as affecting government research on health and genetics, the food industry could look to an immediate impact on how the Food and Drug Administration will operate differently. New rules designed to protect the safety of the food supply likely will be issued without past hesitations, as will efforts to safeguard the safety of food imports. A large backlog may now shrink.

Beyond these aspects of how the new president will govern is his strong desire to assure Americans that he feels their pain caused by the economic crisis. That he has made steps by the federal government aimed at reversing the downward course of the economy his priority is welcomed by grain-based foods with an enthusiasm similar to that shown by the huge crowd that gathered for last week’s inauguration.

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