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Originally published April 13 2008

FDA Considers Regulation of Salt

by David Gutierrez, staff writer

(NaturalNews) The FDA has completed a public hearing where it received public feedback into a proposal to regulate salt as a food additive and remove its "generally recognized as safe" status.

The FDA is taking the move in response to a petition by the Center of Science in the Public Interest (CSPI), which petitioned the agency for the rule change in 2005. The CSPI says that excessive salt intake is directly linked to high blood pressure, which increases the risk of cardiovascular disease. According to the American Heart Association, tens of millions of people in the United States suffer from high blood pressure, which could be improved by reducing salt intake.

U.S. dietary guidelines recommend a maximum daily sodium intake of 2,300 milligrams for young adults. The average daily intake, however, is closer to 3,400 milligrams. More than 75 percent of this sodium comes from processed foods.

"FDA is aware that other organizations are in general agreement with some of the recommendations in CSPI's petition," the FDA said. "For example, at the July 2006 annual meeting of the American Medical Association (AMA), the AMA announced recommendations, in the form of a report issued by the AMA's Council on Science and Health, to the agency echoing many of the regulatory actions suggested by CSPI. The agency is very much interested in hearing the views of other interested parties, including the AMA."

Not all health advocates agree that FDA regulation of salt is appropriate, however.

"The problem with regulating salt," said consumer advocate Mike Adams, "is that the FDA makes no distinction between processed sodium chloride and natural, full-spectrum sea salt. The two are completely different in their effects on the human body. Most people consume far too much processed salt, and not nearly enough full-spectrum, unrefined salt," Adams said."

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