The Food and Drug Administration should regulate the amount of salt added to foods to help Americans cut their high sodium intake, which can lead to high blood pressure, kidney failure and strokes, an influential federal panel said on Tuesday.
The Institute of Medicine said this was needed because Americans get most of their salt from processed and restaurant food, and merely telling them to eat less salt has not worked.
Meghan Scott, a spokeswoman for the FDA, which sponsored the IOM report, said the agency has not yet decided whether to regulate salt in U.S. foods. "We are not right now working on regulations," she said, but the agency is considering the panel's recommendations.
So when the incessant nagging and caterwauling doesn't work, you break out the big regulatory guns of compulsion.
And dig this Meghan Scott character: she wants us all to believe that they are merely considering regulation after a study they sponsored recommend that they do so. Don't you think that if you commission a study that concludes the FDA should regulate salt, the FDA will most likely regulate salt? Folks, the FDA is going to regulate salt.
"For 40 years we have known about the relationship between sodium and the development of hypertension and other life threatening diseases, but we have had virtually no success in cutting back the salt in our diets," Jane Henney of the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine in Ohio, who chaired the Institute of Medicine panel, said in a statement.
"The best way to accomplish this is to provide companies the level playing field they need so they are able to work across the board to reduce salt in the food supply."
For those of you scoring at home, "Level playing field" is statist lingo for mandatory rules and regulations
"There is now overwhelming evidence that we must treat sodium reduction as a critical public health priority," said Dr. Walter Willett of Harvard School of Public Health and a member of the Institute of Medicine.
The panel said companies should be allowed to reduce sodium on a step-by-step basis so that they do not lose customers due to sudden changes in flavor, the panel of experts said.
That companies would be graced by this leniency is proof of the ultimate benevolence of this panel. All hail the Institute of Medicine!
U.S. Rep. Rosa DeLauro and Senator Tom Harkin said on a conference call they would pressure the FDA to regulate salt intake in the U.S. food supply.
"My view of self regulation is that it has not worked in the past," DeLauro said. "We need to move this along."
This quote was given after the article noted that food giants like Pepsico, General Mills, Kraft Foods, and Campbell Soups Inc., all had stated goals to reduce the sodium content in their products across the board.
(UPDATE #1): A funny thing happened on the way to the Institute of Medicine...
High-salt diets may not increase the risk of death, contrary to long-held medical beliefs, according to investigators from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University.
They reached their conclusion after examining dietary intake among a nationally representative sample of adults in the U.S. The Einstein researchers actually observed a significantly increased risk of death from cardiovascular disease (CVD) associated with lower sodium diets.
The researchers analyzed data from the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES III), which was conducted by the federal government among a nationally representative sample of U.S. adults. These data were then compared against death records that had been collected by the government through the year 2000. The sample of approximately 8,700 represented American adults who were over 30 years of age at the time of the baseline survey (1988-1994) and were not on a special low-salt diet.
After adjusting for known CVD risk factors, such as smoking, diabetes and blood pressure, the one-fourth of the sample who reported consuming the lowest amount of sodium were found to be 80% more likely to die from CVD compared to the one-fourth of the sample consuming the highest level of sodium. The risk for death from any cause appeared 24% greater for those consuming lower salt, but this latter difference was not quite large enough to dismiss the role of chance.
“Our findings suggest that for the general adult population, higher sodium is very unlikely to be independently associated with higher risk of death from CVD or all other causes of death,” says Dr. Hillel W. Cohen, associate professor of epidemiology and population health at Einstein.
(italics, totally ours)
Color us unsurprised. ObamaCare is not about better healthcare and neither is this pending regulation of salt. It's about control. It's about a fundamental distrust of individual freedoms and liberty.
They may try to dress it up in the fineries of doing what's best for the greater good of individuals in society but at the end of the day the compelling logic is that you cannot be trusted to make healthcare decisions or dietary decisions on your own.
Looking at the way Obamacare was fashioned and looking at what is actually in the bill as we have been doing in our Nancy's Nuances: a journey of discovery and now looking at the statements, motives and facts regarding salt regulation, how can it be anything but?