In a statement issued today by The Sugar Association, Dr. Richard Keelor, President and Chief Executive Officer said, "We are very pleased that the Secretaries of USDA and DHHS reaffirmed in the final version of the 2000 Dietary Guidelines for Americans that foods and beverages containing sugar are part of a healthy diet when consumed in moderation." He continued, "It is particularly encouraging that, after all the scientific facts were in and weighed, the Secretaries decided to retain the same basic message of moderation concerning sugars that was issued in the 1995 Guidelines."Keelor continued, "This decision sends a clear message that the Dietary Guidelines need to be science-based in order to maintain both the credibility of the guidelines and the integrity of the guideline review process."The 2000 Dietary Guidelines for Americans were released today jointly by USDA and DHHS. Last January, an Advisory Committee charged with drafting the initial dietary guidelines recommended that the sugars guideline be changed from "choose a diet moderate in sugars" to "choose foods and beverages to limit your sugars intake."In March, during the public comment period, 10 internationally recognized scientists submitted a letter stating, "There is no scientific evidence that consumption of sugars per se has a negative effect on health other than dental caries, a multi-factorial condition that is declining and is not life- threatening." After the public comment period, the Secretaries decided to return the wording of the headline statement concerning sugars to language very similar to the 1995 statement.The Sugar Association is a national trade association representing the growers and processors of sugarcane and sugar beets and the marketers of sugar in The United States.Additional information available on line at