Manitoba Plays Key Role in Global Action to Improve Public Health with Whole Grains

June 4, 2012

300 global leaders from health and food industry sectors met to work together towards the common goal of bringing business goals into alignment with public health goals at the Whole Grains Summit, held in Minneapolis, Minnesota from May 19th to May 22nd. During the closing keynote session, US Assistant Surgeon General Dr. James Galloway called for participants to make change now, stating “The choices we make are shaped by the choices we have. It is critical that all sectors and stakeholders work together to create a healthy food environment.” The Summit was organized by the Grains for Health Foundation with support from an international panel of experts in grain science, food technology and public health to develop global solutions that allow easier access to healthy grain-based foods by consumers.

Manitoba grain and health expertise helped shape the conference program and will be integral in efforts to deliver the action plan, particularly in the areas of linking research and industrial partners in the area of whole grains and health. In particular:
-Gary Fulcher, Dept of Food Science, U of Manitoba- Chair of Grains for Health Foundation; session co-chair on International Perspectives
- Nancy Ames, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada- keynote speaker on ‘breeding grains for health’
- Lee Anne Murphy, MB Agri-Health Research Network Inc- Scientific Advisory Council, Grains for Health Foundation; co-chair, Strategic Research Priorities and coordinator, regional action plan

Designed to provide a framework for the international delegates to share their view of the research, regulatory, and/or consumer landscape as it relates to whole grains & health, the Summit examined whole grains, dietary fiber and functional grain components in relation to health. The Summit closed with a call for unified direction for the global grains & health communities to:

-Promote communication & unify leadership among organizations in both grains & health

-Encourage the delivery of consistent whole grain messages to consumers

-Support development of new products through targeted research on both the health-related efficacy of whole grains as well as technology for improved product development 

-Improve the consumer environment for choosing whole grain foods through new product development by grain-based food companies as a main means of increasing whole grain consumption 

-Encourage wider adoption of governmental policies supportive of an effective approach toward greater whole grain availability in the marketplace

Follow-up from the meeting will be posted on the Grains for Health Foundation’s website, Whole Grains Summit 2012 Events Page:

ABOUT Grains for Health Foundation was founded in 2009 to increase the availability of affordable grain-based foods with substantiated health benefits to improve public health and lower the risk of diet-related diseases. Grains for Health forges partnerships with food and health leaders to develop evidence-based strategies that facilitate the development, delivery, and consumption of grain-based foods that promote public health, lower the incidence of diet-related, chronic disease, and curb health care costs.


Lee Anne Murphy, PhD
Executive Director, Manitoba Agri-Health Research Network Inc (MAHRN)
13-59 Scurfield Blvd
Winnipeg, MB R3Y 1V2 Canada
(office) 204-228-3971

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“The choices we make are shaped by the choices we have. It is critical that all sectors and stakeholders work together to create a healthy food environment.” -US Assistant Surgeon General Dr. James Galloway