The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced their intent to issue voluntary guidelines for food producers to reduce sodium levels, citing a 2010 Institute of Medicine (IOM) report that recommends sodium limits.
However, the FDA is ignoring a much more recent 2013 IOM review of studies that examined links between sodium consumption and health outcomes, according to the institute. 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 science, they are ignoring the wishes of the American people, who overwhelmingly responded against such proposed guidelines,” said Lori Roman, president of the Salt Institute.
Dr. Niels Graudal, with the University of Copenhagen Hospital of Denmark and a committee member at the IOM, concurred. He 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 U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other agencies are now viewed by many in the scientific community as excessively and unrealistically low.
Public comments on the FDA’S proposed restrictions on sodium content have been overwhelmingly negative.