FDA delays salt guidelines

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is delaying new salt guidelines.

In an effort to reduce sodium consumption in America, the FDA issued draft guidelines in June that would encourage food manufacturers and restaurants to use less salt. But the agency is now extending the comment period on the guidelines to give industry more time to respond.

The public will now have until Oct. 17 to comment on the short-term sodium reduction plan that aims to reduce the average American’s salt consumption to 3,000 milligrams each day.

While the public has until Dec. 2 to comment on the 10-year plan to further reduce salt intake to 2,300 milligrams per day.

The delay comes at the request of various food industry groups.

The FDA will consider these comments before issuing a final guidance.

Public health officials blame high levels of sodium consumption for health problems such as cardiovascular disease and heart failure. But the salt industry disputes these claims and points out that salt is an important resource not only for flavoring food but also preserving it.