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    USDA OKs Further Use of Whole Grain Stamp

    BOSTON -- The U.S. Department of Agriculture has expanded the list of foods that can use the Whole Grain Stamp, according to the stamp's co-creator, nonprofit food issues think tank Oldways here.

    BOSTON -- The U.S. Department of Agriculture has expanded the list of foods that can use the Whole Grain Stamp, according to the stamp's co-creator, nonprofit food issues think tank Oldways here.

    Shoppers will now be able to more easily find such items as pizzas, pot pies, and pocket sandwiches containing a significant amount of whole grain. Labels on products like these, which contain meat and poultry in addition to grains, need to be pre-approved by USDA's Food Safety Inspection Service (FSIS).

    "With this decision, FSIS has taken another important step to support the Dietary Guidelines and MyPyramid," said Oldways president K. Dun Gifford in a statement. "These federal food and eating guides recommend we all eat three or more servings of whole grains each day, but Americans rushing up and down the grocery aisles need the help of these eye-catching Whole Grain Stamps to quickly locate whole grain foods."

    The stamp -- a black-and-gold symbol developed by Oldways and the Whole Grains Council, a consortium of industry, scientists, and chefs founded by Oldways that works to increase consumption of whole grains for better health -- can currently be found on almost 800 food products. To qualify for the stamp, each serving of a food product must provide at least half of a serving of whole grains.

    The stamp, which was introduced early last year, had not previously been approved for use on products containing meat and poultry. However, the Whole Grains Council launched its new Phase II enhanced stamp design in late June 2006, adding more consumer information. The FSIS approved its use six weeks later.

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