According to the Food and Drug Administration’s recent recommendations, the food industry, restaurants, and other food service operators should be “encouraged” to help Americans reduce their daily sodium intake to 2,300 mg per day by voluntarily cutting the salt intake in foods.
The agency also released a list with the amount of sodium in more than 100 types of foods. Businesses can reduce salt content in the food they sell or serve voluntarily for now, but critics are concerned that the situation may be a slippery slope.
Too often non-mandatory guidance has morphed into the new law of the land overnight. Critics fear that the federal government could soon start to force companies to help it achieve the 2,300 mg of salt per day goal.
It happened before with artificial trans fats which were eventually banned. Yet, this time the FDA cannot remove salt from people’s diets for good as it is necessary to sustain life. But Americans could see some restrictions they didn’t ask for.
Some analysts believe that the FDA’s latest move is just a battle cry for the army of advocacy groups, regulators and journalists which will start to put pressure on companies to comply with the new guidance.
Plus, federal and state regulators could issue other similar policies when more and more companies will yield to the mounting pressure and start applying the voluntary rules, critics say. Plus, there’s a high chance for the FDA to transit from voluntary to mandatory as many businesses are already meeting the proposed rules. or at least that’s what the agency says.
Critics also argue that the federal agency’s purpose is to supervise what is written on labels not to alter the food supply. If it does make the rules mandatory, it would also trump the freedom to choose of hundreds of millions of Americans.
At this point, the FDA seems to be run by people who think they know best what is healthy to eat. There are people who need higher sodium intake because they have medical conditions. Other people like it more salty for their own pleasure.
And how much salt should one eat is a matter of personal choice since it varies greatly from one person to another. So, saying that there’s a one-size-fits-all sodium level is both arrogant and absurd, critics said.
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