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The Minneapolis Star Tribune reports that the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) is considering adopting standards for what makes an “excellent source of whole grains” that have been floated by General Mills.

The General Mills preference is for a standard that says an “excellent source” has to have a least 16 grams of whole grains. The paper notes that this move is opposed by Sara Lee Corp., Campbell Soup Co., and ConAgra Foods Inc., which the paper says “argue the definitions unfairly favor cereals and crackers over ‘wet’ foods like bread and pasta whose water content makes them unlikely to meet what even General Mills says are high standards.”

Bill Nictakis, president of the Sara Lee Bakery Group's U.S fresh bread business, tells the Star Tribune that "the petition stacks the deck toward one food group. If we set the bar too high, we will have less ability to tell the public about whole grains."

General Mills CEO Steve Sanger responds that the proposed standards are "credible descriptions” and that “we hope the FDA will reach the same conclusion.”
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