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BOSTON -- The Whole Grains Council (WGC) here said yesterday it was revising its Whole Grain Stamp, which helps shoppers quickly and easily find whole grain products. The black-and-gold stamp will now include the number of grams of whole grain ingredients in each serving of a product while also reminding consumers that 48 grams or more of whole grains are recommended daily under the 2005 Dietary Guidelines.
"Consumers need to have a sense that they're making progress in meeting the Dietary Guidelines," said WGC chairman Jeff Dahlberg in a statement. "This new stage in our Whole Grain Stamp program will help consumers make wise choices at the supermarket."
"We're keeping the same eye-catching graphic that's currently seen on over 600 products," noted K. Dun Gifford, president of Oldways Preservation Trust, the WGC's parent organization. "We're also keeping the same tie-in with the Dietary Guidelines, and the same strict standards for qualifying products."
As before, the stamp will be used only on products that provide at least half a "Pyramid serving" of whole grains. This requirement renders counting grams unnecessary: If consumers choose products with the stamp for all six of their whole grain servings, they will reach or exceed the recommended daily minimum of 48 grams.
Including the number of grams per serving on all stamped products also means that consumers will be able to compare products more easily. "Previously our top rating of 'Excellent Source' denoted at least 16g -- a full Pyramid serving -- of whole grain content," explained Cynthia Harriman, director of food and nutrition strategies for Oldways and the WGC. "But some products have twice that level of whole grain content or more. Now consumers can decide just what level of whole grain content best suits their taste."
The new stamp artwork will be available to WGC members next month, and will start to appear on grocery shelves shortly after that. A list of products currently using the Whole Grain Stamp is available at http://wholegrainscouncil.org/StampProdList.html.