The Washington Post carried a story today that the FDA is finally getting a move on and planning how to regulate salt in processed foods–after numerous and repeated failures of laissez-faire voluntary self-regulation attempts. It’s been a long time coming; the FDA has been petitioned repeatedly by the American Heart Association, the Center for Science in the Public Interest, and many other organizations, both private and governmental, and has always maintained up to this administration that salt was a “generally recognized as safe” ingredient.
So I’m glad that the FDA is finally making some effort to regulate sodium in food and drop the “generally recognized as safe” status. I’m unfortunately not amazed at all that they’re trying to drag it out to a 10-year process. People’s taste for salt can be downshifted significantly in two or three weeks on average, so there’s really no excuse for such a gradual decrease except for the manufacturer’s cost of reformulation. They seem to be pacifying the processed food manufacturers–all the classic prechewed food industry claims about reduced customer satisfaction appear to be overtaking discussion and usurping the issue of health risk.
But what really gets me is the last quote in the article:
“Historically, consumers have found low-sodium products haven’t been of the quality that’s expected,” said Todd Abraham, senior vice president of research and nutrition for Kraft Foods. “We’re all trying to maintain the delicious quality of the product but one that consumers recognize as healthier.”
Tell the truth: Those foods aren’t really all that delicious now. It’s like admitting that heavy salt is the predominant flavoring (the other being cardboard).
Filed under: DASH Diet, Food Politics, nutrition, shopping | Tagged: cardiovascular disease, FDA, food labeling, generally recognized as safe, high blood pressure, hypertension, kidney disease, low sodium, nutrition, processed food industry, salt consumption, sodium intake |