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Government Nannies Say New Salt Guidelines Imminent

The Obama administration plans to continue its war on food and food manufacturers with proposed guidelines for sodium consumption.

According to Politico, new sodium guidelines are set to be released as early as this summer...although the science behind the regulation is confused.  The government effort to get Americans to lower their sodium consumption has stalled on several fronts due to recent studies that contradict the conventional wisdom that sodium is a "pressing health threat." A new lawsuit filed by the left-wing Center for Science in the Public Interest should fast-track the voluntary guidelines that were written two years ago but never released, the FDA says. The suit alleges that the government violated the law by not forcing companies to label certain products with high-sodium warnings.

"It remains a priority and it will come out this year," said a former administration official who asked not to be named.

FDA spokeswoman Megan McSeveney said the voluntary targets have "the potential for major public health gains."

The food industry is not happy about the impending "voluntary" guidelines.

“We have concerns that the science that would be the basis for the new sodium targets is outdated and something of this magnitude and long-term impact should also include more current research,” said Roger Lowe, a spokesman for the Grocery Manufacturers Association.

Recent studies show that high-sodium diets do not increase health risks although most public health officials prefer the older studies that link sodium consumption to high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease.

“We don’t think this is justified,” said Morton Satin, the vice president of science and research at the Salt Institute, an industry group representing salt producers. “What is the impact? We’re going to have salt replaced by a cocktail of chemicals. They can’t just take out salt. They have to make the food tasty.”

Recent studies on the science of sodium suggest that the government's recommended sodium consumption level actually puts people at risk of death. In 2011, a study published in the Journal of American Medical Association reported that going below the recommended level of 3,000 milligrams of sodium a day was dangerous.