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FDA Seeks to Allow Salt Substitutes in Everyday Foods

FDA Seeks to Allow Salt Substitutes in Everyday Foods

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Friday said it was proposing a rule to allow the use of salt substitutes in everyday foods including cheese, frozen peas, and canned tuna, in a bid to cut Americans’ salt consumption.

The FDA had in 2021 set a new voluntary goal for manufacturers and chain restaurants to cut salt levels by an average of 12 percent in packaged foods, because excessive salt consumption has been linked to high blood pressure, a leading cause of heart attack and stroke.

“Most people in the U.S. consume too much sodium. The majority of sodium consumed comes from processed, packaged, and prepared foods, not from salt people add to their food when cooking or eating,” said Susan Mayne, the director of FDA’s food safety and nutrition division.

Friday’s proposed rule looks to change the FDA’s “standards of identity” (SOI) for over 20 items, ranging from cheese to cereal flour.

The SOIs list ingredients that standardized foods must contain, and which ingredients are optional.

Signage outside of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) headquarters in White Oak, Md., on Aug. 29, 2020. (Andrew Kelly/Reuters)

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