Anti-Salt Agenda of Federal Govt. Violates Law, Ignores Recent Science, Treats 300 Million Americans Like Lab Rats, Says Salt Institute

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Salt Institute calls on HHS and USDA to scratch dietary guidelines on sodium.

Food labels target sodium unfairly.

Draconian sodium reduction is a goal of the federal government despite recent studies quantifying the dangers of a LOW-sodium diet.

We oppose 300 million Americans being treated like lab rats in a risky trial.

The U.S. Dietary Guidelines on sodium should be withdrawn and government plans to regulate salt consumption halted because the process has been compromised by a conflict of interest and a disregard for a decade of peer-reviewed scientific studies.

A 17-page letter by the Salt Institute, delivered October 3, calls upon the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Department of Health and Human Services to abandon the sodium provisions of the government’s U.S. Dietary Guidelines.

“The Dietary Guidelines on sodium should be withdrawn and all legislative or regulatory actions based on them reversed or halted in order to protect the health of Americans,” said Salt Institute President Lori Roman.“ These Guidelines have made a mockery of the law through a process compromised by conflict of interest and a complete disregard for numerous scientific studies that point out the dangers of a low-salt diet. They are in violation of the National Nutrition Monitoring and Related Research Act.”

“To survive and thrive, the body needs salt," said Roman. "That’s a medical fact. But the official food policy of our federal government aims to radically reduce salt levels, violating the medical mandate to `first, do no harm.’ We oppose 300 million Americans being treated like lab rats in a risky trial.”

Documented with 69 footnotes, the letter asserts that:

FEDERAL LAW IS BEING VIOLATED: The National Nutrition Monitoring and Related Research Act requires the Dietary Guidelines to be based on the “the preponderance of the scientific and medical knowledge” current at the time. Rather than thoroughly assessing the latest scientific and medical knowledge on sodium, the agencies reached a conclusion in 2005 based on insufficient evidence and then repeated the error in 2010.

SCIENCE ON SALT IS BEING IGNORED: Government bureaucrats are ignoring science that does not conform to their agenda by failing to consider the negative health impacts of sodium reduction in diets, failing to address that there is a physiological sodium appetite, and failing to address conflicting evidence on the impact of sodium on blood pressure and obesity.

PUBLIC HEALTH IS BEING RISKED: The dangerously low salt intake recommended by the government would put Americans at a level never seen in any country. If implemented, the government’s guidelines would put Americans in a clinical trial without their knowledge and consent -- with potentially fatal consequences.

ABOUT THE SALT INSTITUTE: Based in Alexandria, VA, the Salt Institute is a trade association promoting responsible uses of salt, particularly for roadway safety, nutrition and water quality. See saltinstitute.org or call 703-549-4648. For more on salt and health, see salthealth.org.

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Mark O'Keefe
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