The Government has consistently ignored the scientific evidence for decades in order to pursue an agenda designed to make the food industry look bad and the government look good. In-fact, they have ignored the mass of the legitimate scientific evidence that contradicted this agenda and ignored the overwhelming number of consumers who responded to the FDA’s public call for comments on their proposal to reduce salt in foods.
While policy makers may occasionally be compelled to act in the face of scientific disputes and uncertainty, this is not a “Get out of Jail Free” license to deny all the latest evidence that contradicts the planned agenda, if policies are to be the product of science rather than dogma.
The last IOM report on sodium reduction (2013) recognized the limitations of the available evidence, and indicated that there was no consistent support for an association between sodium intake and either beneficial or adverse effects on most direct health outcomes. Several recent studies have questioned the concept of population-wide sodium reduction of the basis of limited benefit while others have highlighted the possible risks associated with the current recommended levels, which serve as the core of all ongoing salt reduction initiatives.
The very latest study on sodium consumption around the world was published in 2013 in the British Medical Journal by 10 authors of the WHO Global Burden of Disease Group and almost 150 collaborators around the world. This huge study was funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. It was the most comprehensive study of sodium consumption around the world included virtually every country in the UN System. (Global, regional and national sodium intakes in 1990 and 2010: a systematic analysis of 24 h urinary sodium excretion and dietary surveys worldwide.)
When those levels of sodium consumption around the world are compared with the latest WHO life expectancies for the same countries, it is crystal clear that those countries that consume the most salt have the longest life expectancies and those that consume the least salt have the lowest life expectancies.
Because life expectancy is a measure incorporating many factors such as genetics, economics, lifestyles, etc., the Salt Institute does not state that people live longer strictly because of their salt intake, however, we do say that long life and our current levels of salt consumption are perfectly compatible with a long and healthy life and the latest study bears this out. Reducing these levels to the government-recommended amounts may reverse this trend. The data reveal that those countries in the group that consume salt at the current recommended levels (and there are very few of them) have an 11 year shorter life expectancy than the group that consumes salt at levels well above the current recommended levels.
In which group is the FDA attempting to place us in? Is this their answer to managing the social security shortfall?