FDA To Regulate Salt

Ken AshfordHealth Care2 Comments

This is the kind of thing that will send the teabaggers off the edge: the communist-fascist-marxist government is coming to take your salt away:

The Food and Drug Administration is planning an unprecedented effort to gradually reduce the salt consumed each day by Americans, saying that less sodium in everything from soup to nuts would prevent thousands of deaths from hypertension and heart disease. The initiative, to be launched this year, would eventually lead to the first legal limits on the amount of salt allowed in food products.

The government intends to work with the food industry and health experts to reduce sodium gradually over a period of years to adjust the American palate to a less salty diet, according to FDA sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the initiative had not been formally announced.


The FDA, which regulates most processed foods, would be joined in the effort by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which oversees meat and poultry.

Currently, manufacturers can use as much salt as they like in products because under federal standards, it falls into the category deemed "generally recognized as safe." Foodmakers are merely required to report the amount on nutrition labels.

But for the past 30 years, health officials have grown increasingly alarmed as salt intake has increased with the explosion in processed foods and restaurant meals. Most adults consume about twice the government's daily recommended limit, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

My view?  This is the kind of thing a government should be doing.  I don't know how much salt is in the food I'm eating — particularly when I go out to eat, but I do know that, in excess, it's bad for you.  So why not limit the amount?

And if people want more salt, there's still the salt shakers and salt packets.

The salt industry is not amused:

Morton Satin, director for technical and regulatory affairs at the Salt Institute, which represents salt producers, said regulation "would be a disaster for the public." He said that the science regarding sodium is unclear and that consumption does not necessarily lead to health problems.

Hmmmm, where have I heard that before?

UPDATE:  Yup, teabaggers are going off the edge.  Right on cue.