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U.S. sets new lower salt target for food industry

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Yeah, right. The salt industry doesn't have a lobby like other food additive companies.

How about getting the sugar and corn syrup out of everything while you're at it? All luncheon meats (turkey, chicken, ham, beef) in the US have sugar in them.

The US FDA approved neonicotinoid pesticides only days after it was banned in the EU in 2013 due to its impact on bee colonies. It was reported two days ago that the American bumblebee is now "completely gone" from eight US states. Way to go, FDA.

The same FDA that approved partially hydrogenated oils, brominated vegetable oils (BVO), a flame retardant, Olean, RBGH, etc.

13 ( +13 / -0 )

Gee, I thought the four food groups were sugar, salt, alcohol and fat?

8 ( +8 / -0 )

So, the United States is now trying to work at its WHO-mandated obligation to reduce intake of salt by 30% by 2025. Similar to the obligation to "halt the rise in diabetes and obesity in adults and adolescents as well as in childhood overweight by 2025."

U.S. seems to still not be in the mood to tackle intake of nitrates, nitrites, and those micro-plastics that seem to be steadly going into the food chain; at least enough to gang tackle the food industry. No, the U.S. looks to be sticking to the sugar, salt, and fat triad that the WHO keeps pestering the world about to get in line.

Apparently The U.S. Food & Drug will follow the sugar model and seek, first, to issue guidance for “Voluntary Sodium Reduction Goals" for "Sodium in Commercially Processed, Packaged, and Prepared Foods.” Here is a link:

https://www.fda.gov/regulatory-information/search-fda-guidance-documents/guidance-industry-voluntary-sodium-reduction-goals .

Industry has 2.5 years, "to balance the need for broad and gradual reductions in sodium and what is publicly known about technical and market constraints on sodium reduction and reformulation." Comments on the guidance can still be submitted to the FDA; see notice at https://public-inspection.federalregister.gov/2021-22453.pdf .

Since this is guidance, it doesn't even need to pretend to provide estimates of cost.  Cost to re-tool food manufacturing to comply with the "voluntary" standard. Costs contributing to down-stream inflationary impacts. None of it! They didn't have to, so why should they march into such a potential swamp of public opinion.

Salt reduction strategy has been in effect for some time now. In fact, world-wide studies have indicated measurable success in mean sodium intake. But then the pandamic hit. And everybody started to eat all the wrong things, so those gains started going away.  So much so, that public health mandate-types are tearing themselves away from virus harm and now refocusing on restoring the downward salt use trends.

And with gusto, too! In the U.K. they are tackling salt by setting even more stringent salt targets, strictly enforcing salt reduction targets, and extending salt targets to every out-of-home sector of society.

This has been long sought internationally. By the WHO, especially, but also in the U.S. in a health care cost containment context. (one of the early suggestions to member signatory states, in order to carry out salt, sugar and fat reduction goals, was that members consider enact limits and restrictions over corporate and special interest lobbying efforts, in order to achieve public health reduction goals in a timely manner).

There are studies showing estimated down-stream (mid-to-long-term) benefit analysis that are available: Last U.S. study available for review shows quantifiable ten-year U.S. Savings from averted disease costs are expected to total almost 37 billion UDS -most of which would be attributed to Medicare (18.4 billion USD) and private insurers (13.4 billion USD). Non-quantifiable 10-year savings are roughly estimated at about the same amount (18.2billion USD). But no reliable estimates over how much this will cost industry and consumers to get there over the ten year goals implemented by the US CDC. Really because they don't have to.

And this will be monitored closely, to see if any of it is working.

And if it doesn't? Well, the US CDC posted this article on their own website: Hodge JG Jr, Barraza LF. Legal Regulation of Sodium Consumption to Reduce Chronic Conditions. Prev. Chronic Dis. 2016;13:150545. https://www.cdc.gov/pcd/issues/2016/15_0545.htm . For being published five years ago, its looks timely and authoritative. Professor Hodge in particular is well known and respected in international health law. And it provides insight over what steps are open to take next.

Not just the U.S., either. In Japan the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry is establishing a working group between industry, academia and the government, to encourage the public to reduce their salt intake, work with food makers and retailers on food development and display methods. According to the ministry, the daily average amount of salt consumed by Japanese is 10.1 grams; more than double the WHO recommendation of less than 5 grams. And is higher than the amount consumed in the United States and European countries. Big mountain to climb in Japan, too: a government survey showed more than half the people in Japan who were deemed to have high salt intake replied that they did not intend to change their diet. Japan may have to go the way of the U.S.

https://the-japan-news.com/news/article/0007682739

1 ( +2 / -1 )

The AMA in the States previously recommended 2G per day for adults.

I was hospitalized in Japan several years ago, and asked that my meals be from their "reduced sodium" menu. The first evening, when the reduced sodium meal came, the nutrition label said it had 6G of salt . . . 3x the recommended level in the States, yet, I assume it was still several grams below the Japanese daily average, which must be crazy high.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

The pirate food industry has done a lot of damage to the world and the great example is how is the health of the people in the US, a total disaster.

Too late, Amerifats, to late..

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Does Japan have any salt limits? I find some food so salty I can't eat it. The US is recommending an upper limit of 2.3 gm a day. I believe in parts of Japan 12 gm is the average daily intake.

The problem with getting the food industry to limit salt usage is that they will probably replace it with something else, possibly worse. That is why so much food now contains sugar.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Japan needs a sugar mandate. The instant onion soup I bought at Kinokuniya tasted craziliy sweet. When I checked the ingredients label, sugar was top of the list. For onion soup??! Ugh.

Also, check the labels here and you'll find dessert fruit concoctions have added sugar as one of their top ingredients. Hello, fruit is sweet enough for most people. This seems to be a deliberate and devious action.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

According to the [Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry], the daily average amount of salt consumed by Japanese is 10.1 grams; more than double the WHO recommendation of less than 5 grams. And is higher than the amount consumed in the United States and European countries.

https://the-japan-news.com/news/article/0007682739

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Some people on certain meds may need more salt than others. Our government needs to start enforcing food safety standards than trying to create the Generic American.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

I was hospitalized in Japan several years ago, and asked that my meals be from their "reduced sodium" menu. The first evening, when the reduced sodium meal came, the nutrition label said it had 6G of salt . . . 3x the recommended level in the States

Actually 6 g of salt is 2.4 mg of sodium, so a negligible 0.1 g above the common recommended maximum of 2.3 g.

That's 1.2x a recommended 2g level, or 1.04x a 2.3 g level. However, it sounds a little questionable that the full daily amount would go into a single hospital meal specifically labelled as low sodium. The only hospital meals I've had here were low in salt, bland in taste, and meagre in quantity.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I think something has to be done about the food here too concerning the crazy amounts of sugar and salt. Some of the side dishes I buy at the supermarket - I have to rinse them in water first to reduce the salt content.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I don't live in USA, but I think cutting salt in food is a good idea.

Too much in certain foods like soup, sauces, various other snacks etc. Funny thing is I never use salt in home cooking at all, yet it's hard to avoid in certain food groups. Some items frankly are too salty for me to eat.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Most hypertension is caused by excessive sugar and carb consumption, not salt. Salt is blamed because no one goes after the massive sugar and carbs (natural or processed) food industry. FACT. Our body is perfectly suited to regulate the amount of salt in our system... Sugar and carbs on the other hand... Look it up.

Here is an insight if you're skeptical:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BQ1_1sURC9w

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6z95pV1FJVU

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Ok, reducing salt is what I call a start, as others mention above processed food is FILLED with what I dub "slow poison" because its laced with tons of sugar, salt & way too many man-made additives.

We all eat the stuff but best to really try to limit processed stuff, try reducing & what I do is use some more like a garnish than the main sauce if you will, I will use one serving & stretch it into 2-4 meals over several days rather then quaff in one sitting.

I predict when truth comes out that we will find processed foods have been causing all sorts of health issues for people & the more you consume the worse off you will be, hence slow poison, it WILL shorten your lifespan potentially by a lot for some people, especially for those over weight, be careful

0 ( +0 / -0 )

1500mg is the highest recommended amount of sodium intake for hypertension. If you read the sodium content on bottled Japanese and Chinese cooking sauces, you'd pass out in shock.

@towingtheline, I hope you're not recommending we all watch YouTube for medical advice. That would surely kill us all.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

NO. I said get an insight as to what the major cause of Hypertension is. It isn't salt.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Most hypertension is caused by excessive sugar and carb consumption, not salt. Salt is blamed because no one goes after the massive sugar and carbs (natural or processed) food industry. FACT. Our body is perfectly suited to regulate the amount of salt in our system... Sugar and carbs on the other hand... Look it up.

Yes, very true. Salt is not the problem.

Ever since I switched to a low carb diet, I've been actively adding extra salt to everything.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Salt is used in processed food to trick your tongue into thinking that it has flavour. If you regularly eat processed food, the high salt content will have robbed you of the ability to taste real flavours.

Stop eating processed food for a couple of weeks and don't add any salt to anything you cook. Your taste buds will recover and you will start to taste things again. When you then eat processed food, you will detect how salty it really is - especially soups.

If you want to eat a healthy diet, make you meals from basic ingredients: potatoes, rice, pasta, legumes and vegetables. Don't add salt.

The same goes for sugar, MSG and fats. Same excessive usage by the processed food industry, same reason, no good for your health.

Junk food is called junk food for a reason. Your body deserves better. Would you use knock-off home made petrol in your car?

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

There is salt and sugar in most all processed food here in US. More salt more sugar means less actual food product companies have to put in package. More money in their pockets. All people need to wake up, Big food companies are not looking to best interest of their customers health, just their profit line. Wake up everyone, demand better foods, don't except second or third best. It is your life, "Take responsibility for it". Don't wait for Government to do it.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

It depends whether you have an impaired renal function which triggers salt-sensitive hypertension or not.

If you don't just keep your blood pressure monitored.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

""a serious public health problem in a country where half the population suffers from hypertension""

Japanese food has a much higher levels of salt and that is a fact, don't have exact numbers , but just try the soy sauce!! for example, Salt and sugar are two necessary EVILS.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The FDA is little more than the enforcement arm of the industries it "regulates."

This move is no more than a PR stunt to create the appearance of an agency concerned about public health.

It is most likely a face saving move in response to an industry move to cut costs by reducing salt used in production.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

This guy does an excellent job going over the literature of the effects of salt on health:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=02rgtB0Bxi0

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=amJ-ev8Ial8

0 ( +1 / -1 )

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