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FDA Considers Limits on Sodium

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In response to health advocacy efforts and recent health studies, the FDA has begun to focus attention on the amount of salt consumed by Americans, specifically the amount of sodium in processed foods.

Currently, the food industry is not obligated to regulate the amount of sodium in products as sodium is generally recognized as safe by the FDA. However, according to the Washington Post, “In recent months, Conagra, Pepsico, Kraft Foods, General Mills, Sara Lee and others have announced that they would reduce sodium in many of their products.” Experts at the Department of Agriculture, the FDA and the Center for Science in the Public Interest say this may not be enough when it comes to reducing the number of Americans suffering from heart disease and hypertension as a result of high sodium intake.

The Institute of Medicine, the health arm of the National Academy of Sciences, will be releasing a report on Wednesday focusing on strategies to reduce salt intake across the board. Likely, this report written by leading health authorities will be used as a guide not only in the debate on sodium and standards to be set by FDA, but will also be used by the 2010 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee which will be writing the new Dietary Guidelines for Americans due to be launched next year.

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