WASHINGTON — Will the government regulate sodium content in foods?
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.
“The FDA is not currently working on regulations nor has it made a decision to regulate sodium content in foods at this time,” the FDA said in a statement last month.
The issue is, however, on the FDA's radar. The agency is reviewing a report from the Institute of Medicine that says national action is imperative to reduce the sodium content of foods to reduce the risk of hypertension and major cardiovascular events for Americans.
“The FDA will more thoroughly review the recommendations of the IOM report and build plans for how the FDA can continue to work with other federal agencies, public health and consumer groups, and the food industry to support the reduction of sodium levels in the food supply,” according to the statement.
The Department of Health and Human Services will establish an interagency working group on sodium at the department that will review options and next steps.
The FDA says it is encouraged that food manufacturers have already begun or announced their commitment to reduce sodium levels in their products.
It also recommends that consumers ask their supermarkets to carry more low-sodium products.