The FDA’s new sodium guidelines have no teeth

Food processors and restaurants, who are petrified that consumers won’t buy foods that aren’t loaded with salt, definitely won this round. More’s the pity for all of us with high blood pressure and heart disease.

Reports were everywhere today saying the Food and Drug Administration was recommending major cuts in the amount of sodium in packaged and restaurant foods. FDA calls for sharp reduction in salt added to foods, was the Reuters headline. New FDA guidelines crack down on salt was on TheVerge.com.

Salt can lead to stomach cancer, one more reason to get it out of your diet.
Mountains of salt will remain in processed ad restaurant foods for years to come.

First of all, the guidelines are voluntary, not mandatory, so they don’t crack down on or call for anything, they merely suggest guidelines, which is exactly what the food industry, which has been fighting mandatory limits on sodium, wanted.

Second, if you actually look at the extensive guidelines for foods (click on the link to download it) outlined in a table buried in the appendix of what the FDA issues, you’ll see that for many foods, the new acceptable upper limit of sodium per 100 grams of a product, take something like hard cheeses, is actually higher than the level now in those products, according to the same table!

I’m not kidding. The line for Parmesan cheese shows the baseline sodium content for 100 grams in 2010 was 1,554 mgs while the upper limit per 100 grams is 1,690 mgs!!!!

Food processors and restaurants, who are petrified that consumers won’t buy foods that aren’t loaded with salt, definitely won this round. More’s the pity for all of us with high blood pressure and heart disease.

John

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