WASHINGTON, D.C., U.S. — The North American Millers’ Association (NAMA) said on Oct. 12 it applauds the decision by federal regulators to rethink the Interagency Working Group (IWG) proposed voluntary industry guidelines for marketing food products to children.

Industry representatives testified on behalf of NAMA and other segments of the food industry at a hearing before the Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing and Trade and the Subcommittee on Health of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce to address whether proposals to restrict advertising to children were overly broad.

The decision to rethink the guidelines came as a result of industry criticism on the proposed guidelines, including testimony given by NAMA President Mary Waters at the Forum on Food Marketed to Children in May and comments submitted by NAMA in July. NAMA requested the withdrawal of the flawed proposal because enriched and many whole grain products, remarkably, are not on the IWG list of foods that make a “meaningful contribution” to the health of children, a direct contradiction to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans which recommends the consumption of both whole and enriched grains.

Testimony provided on behalf of NAMA, Grocery Manufacturers Association, American Bakers Association and other associations reiterated concerns made for months by the grain industry that the proposed guidelines use nutrition standards that are inconsistent with other government mandates and most importantly, fail to follow federal statute mandating the Dietary Guidelines for Americans as the blueprint for all federal nutrition policy.

“It is imperative for all federal regulators to recognize the importance of healthy grain foods like fiber-rich whole grain breads and whole grain cereals and enriched bread and pasta in the diets of children and to not restrict the marketing of these healthful products,” said Mary Waters, NAMA president.

In a statement provided to Congress, members of the grain chain coalition including the NAMA, American Institute of Baking, Grain Foods Foundation, Grains for Health Foundation, Independent Bakers Association, National Pasta Association and Wheat Foods Council reinforced the testimony, stating the guidelines would not work because they are inconsistent with the nutrition guidelines of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans and will only serve to further confuse consumers.