GMA urges delay in salt reduction

21 Oct 2016

In comments submitted to the FDA on the sodium reduction guidelines and food category targets, the US Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) recommended that the timeline to meet the goals be extended to at least four years.

GMA urges delay in salt reduction

In comments submitted to the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) on the sodium reduction guidelines and food category targets, the US Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) recommended that categories be streamlined and the timeline to meet the short-term reduction goals be extended to at least four years.

“GMA and its member companies are committed to continuing efforts to provide consumers with plenty of choices and have been making strides in reformulating products to provide lower sodium options,” said Leon Bruner, GMA’s Chief Science Officer. “Our companies have made more than 30,000 product choices available to consumers between 2002 and 2013 with reduced sodium, calories, sugar and saturated fat, and increased amounts of whole grains, fruits and vegetables. This includes 6,500 products with lower sodium.”

In June, FDA issued proposed guidance on sodium targets for food categories and timelines for meeting those goals, and October 17 was the deadline for comments on the short-term targets.

In its comments, GMA proposed changes to the categories to account for differing functional roles of sodium. In addition, GMA said that extending the timeframe for implementation from two to at least four years will allow adequate time for reformulations as well as the time needed to transition consumers’ taste preferences to accept reduced-sodium in products. GMA also recommends FDA assess the progress towards these short-term goals after five years.