Salt may be Restricted in Risky Government Plan to Control what Americans eat

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Salt Institute says federal bureaucrats will be held responsible for ignoring solid medical research while pushing a dangerous, low-sodium diet on an unsuspecting public

Limiting salt to the government’s Dietary Guidelines recommendations will harm the very consumers we should be protecting.

At a Thursday (Nov. 10) FDA public hearing about ways to bring about population-wide salt reduction, the Salt Institute warned federal officials and anti-salt ideologues that they are responsible for the health outcomes of their full-speed-ahead agenda to put all Americans on a risky, low-sodium diet.

“The evidence is clear and incontrovertible,” said Morton Satin, the Salt Institute’s Vice President of Science and Research. “Limiting salt to the government’s Dietary Guidelines recommendations will harm the very consumers we should be protecting. All those who ignore the clinical evidence and choose to pursue the myth of salt reduction will bear the responsibility and burden for this.”

In 2011 alone, no fewer than four medical studies published by respected journals have shown low-sodium diets can lead to a host of health problems, including a greatly increased likelihood of death from heart disease. A review of 167 studies, published Wednesday in the American Journal of Hypertension showed a 2.5% increase in cholesterol and a 7% increase in triglycerides for those on low-sodium diets. Cholesterol and triglycerides increase the risk of heart disease, heart attacks and strokes.

The government’s rationale for reducing salt intake is based almost entirely on the shaky premise that salt significantly increases blood pressure and hypertension puts people at risk for heart disease and other problems. But the study in the American Journal of Hypertension showed only a tiny improvement in blood pressure on a low-salt diet -- an average of less than 1% for people who had normal blood pressure to begin with and 3.5% for people who already had hypertension.

While the latest study attracted media attention and concern (WebMD: New Research Calls Salt Guidelines Into Question), the public hearing revealed that the Food and Drug Administration and four other federal agencies plan to continue their goal of population-wide sodium reduction -- despite the latest evidence.

Currently, the U.S. Dietary Guidelines are just federal recommendations. But the government could follow the path of Great Britain to restrict the amount of salt that food manufacturers and restaurants put in their products to make them taste better and last longer.

Public hearings like the one Thursday are often an indication that new regulations are already in the works. In addition to the Thursday hearing, the FDA is seeking online public comments until Nov. 29.

Satin, also known as “the Salt Guru,” has created a YouTube video explaining the folly of this governmental speeding train. The Salt Institute has also launched a social media campaign on
Salt Health Facebook that challenges people to take less than 5 minutes online to express their opinions about salt freedom to the government.

ABOUT THE SALT INSTITUTE: Based in Alexandria, VA, the Salt Institute is a trade association promoting responsible salt use for nutrition, roadway safety, and water quality.


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Mark O'Keefe, communications director
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