WASHINGTON — The Food and Drug Administration refuted a Washington Post report that said it will adopt the Institute of Medicine's recommendations to set legal limits on sodium, rather than rely on voluntary efforts, as a way to prevent more than 100,000 deaths annually.
“A story in today’s Washington Post leaves a mistaken impression that the FDA has begun the process of regulating the amount of sodium in foods,” said the statement. “The FDA is not currently working on regulations nor have they made a decision to regulate sodium content in foods at this time.”
The Institute of Medicine recommended Tuesday that the government work with the food industry and reduce salt gradually over a period of years in a way that goes unnoticed by most consumers. The recommendations came in response to a request by Congress in 2008 for ways to reduce sodium intake levels to those outlined in the Dietary Guidelines for Americans.
The FDA will review the IOM’s recommendations over the coming weeks and build plans to work with the food industry to support the reduction of sodium levels in the food supply. “The Department of Health and Human Services will establish an interagency working group on sodium that will review options and next steps,” according to the FDA.
The Grocery Manufacturers Association is lending its support.
“The food industry is committed to continue to reduce the sodium content in thousands of products to help consumers reach the current U.S. Dietary Guidelines recommendation of no more than 2,300 milligrams of sodium per day,” said a statement issued by GMA. “We look forward to working with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to develop a national sodium reduction strategy that will help consumers.”
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