Salt on the table in Washington

John Dimsdale Nov 29, 2007
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Salt on the table in Washington

John Dimsdale Nov 29, 2007
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Scott Jagow: I’ll like a little salt on my food, I’ll be honest. I said a little salt. Unfortunately, there’s way too much of it in most prepared food. The average American eats twice the recommended daily amount of sodium. That has lead to premature heart attacks and stokes, and a hefty health care bill.

Today in Washington, the FDA holds a public hearing on salt. More now from John Dimsdale.


John Dimsdale: Today’s hearing is a response to a petition filed by the Center for Science in the Public Interest.

Michael Jacobson: The FDA needs to do everything it can to lower sodium levels in processed and restaurant foods.

Executive Director Michael Jacobson says 75 percent of our salt intake comes from processed groceries and restaurant meals.

The government encourages reducing salt, but Jacobson says without actual limits, that policy is toothless.

Jacobson: But it’s tough for one company to lower sodium levels when its competitors continue to have high levels of sodium. Because people will continue to prefer the saltier food.

The industry is already reducing salt at their customers’ request, says Robert Earl with the Grocery Manufacturers Association.

Robert Earl: If food companies are already doing these types of things and competing on health and nutrition, government requirements across the board may not be necessary.

The FDA hasn’t proposed any new sodium regulations, but it might once it hears the public’s comments.

In Washington, I’m John Dimsdale for Marketplace.

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