Alexandria, VA—Recently the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced their intent to issue voluntary guidelines for food producers to reduce sodium levels. The agency cited a 2010 Institute of Medicine (IOM) report which recommended sodium limits.
However the FDA is ignoring a much more recent 2013 Institute of Medicine review of studies that examined links between sodium consumption and health outcomes. This newer review raised serious questions about possible harm caused by sodium reduction efforts and recognized that blood pressure is only one of many factors that should be considered in evaluating dietary changes.
“It is hard to imagine a government agency showing a more blatant disregard for science. Science indicates that population-wide sodium reduction is unnecessary and possibly harmful. Not only are they ignoring the science, but they are ignoring the wishes of the American people, who overwhelmingly responded against such proposed guidelines,” stated Lori Roman, President of the Salt Institute. Public comments on the FDA’s proposed restrictions on sodium content have been overwhelmingly negative.
More recent research by Dr. Niels Graudal from the University of Copenhagen Hospital in Denmark and a committee member at the Institute of Medicine, found that current levels of sodium consumption were already optimal for good health. The research published in the American Journal of Hypertension found that the low sodium levels recommended by the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and other agencies are now viewed by many in the scientific community as excessively and unrealistically low.
The full 2013 IOM Report is available here: http://www.iom.edu/~/media/Files/Report%20Files/2013/Sodium-Intake-Populations/SodiumIntakeinPopulations_RB.pdf
“Compared With Usual Sodium Intake, Low- and Excessive-Sodium Diets Are Associated With Increased Mortality: A Meta-Analysis” http://ajh.oxfordjournals.org/content/early/2014/03/26/ajh.hpu028.1
The Salt Institute is a North American based non-profit trade association dedicated to advancing the many benefits of salt, particularly to ensure winter roadway safety, quality water and healthy nutrition.