ICC's Statement on the EAT-Lancet Commission Report

The International Association for Cereal Science and Technology (ICC) highly welcomes the efforts of the EAT-Lancet Commission to convene leading scientists from various countries and disciplines to globally agree scientific targets for healthy diets and sustainable food production. The Commission’s Report is a great step forward in placing the emphasis on healthy eating and sustainable food production being a driver for creating food systems which will work in harmony with the global challenges in agri-food production. Ensuring that the food production systems we utilise are in tune with the biodiversity and general ecology of the world are essential for the survival of future generations. Equally, food choice and the adaption of healthy diets are crucial to redress issues around global malnutrition and over nutrition. There is no doubt that cereal grains form the basis of many of our diets and their importance not only in terms of their contributions for calories but also in terms of bioactive nutrients and dietary fibre, go far beyond dietary intake and into human nutrition and disease prevention. It is therefore welcome to see the importance placed on wholegrain foods in this report. From the view of the International Association of Cereal Science and Technology, harnessing the benefits of wholegrain nutrition is one of the key aspects which needs to be addressed by food and nutritional scientists in the very short term, so as to yield benefits for long term welfare of the population and the world.

In line with the EAT-Lancet Commission we believe that when increasing whole grain intake, efforts cannot be limited to one or two stakeholders, but must be addressed using the combined efforts of all parties involved in the food supply chain. For this reason, ICC invited more than 200 renowned experts and leading stakeholders, representing more than 35 countries, to the 6th International Whole Grain Summit 2017. The common goal is to create a collective action plan aiming to address strategies to help promote healthy eating patterns, particularly an increased variety of sustainable whole grain foods, and additionally communication-promotion campaigns based on strong public private partnerships, such as the Danish Whole Grain Partnership.

The Vienna Whole Grain Declaration reflects the experts’ consensus on four key goals and action points that must be met to drive whole grain acceptance and product availability, and to create and execute appropriate communication and education programmes:

  1. Reach consensus on a global whole grain definition.
  2. Establish a quantitative, science-based whole grain intake recommendation.
  3. Document the carbon footprint of whole grains, compared with other dietary choices.
  4. Form strong public-private partnerships to develop campaigns to encourage whole grain consumption.

To carry out the action points necessary to meet these key goals, it was agreed to establish a global interdisciplinary “Whole Grain Initiative” and to initiate international working groups dealing with different aspects of whole grains such as definition, intake recommendation, sustainability and whole grain promotion.

ICC would like to encourage all experts worldwide to consider the recommendations of the EAT-Lancet Report and initiatives like the global Whole Grain Initiative.

Charles Brennan

President of the International Association for Cereal Science and Technology – Vienna, Austria

Professor of Food Science and Nutrition – Lincoln University, New Zealand


Summary of the EAT-Lancet Report

ICC Statement on EAT-Lancet Commission Report

Various stakeholder reactions to the EAT-Lancet Commission Report