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CSPI Sues FDA Over Salt Content

If you read this blog regularly, you're familiar with the activities of the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI). They're a nutritional lobbying group that stays in the public eye by informing and sometimes blasting holes in the practices of food manufacturers and government agencies use to justify the "voodoo" science that can often harm your health.

Over the past two decades, the group has blasted everything from movie theatre popcorn to fettuccine Alfredo. CSPI claims the target of their newest lawsuit -- salt -- could be "the single deadliest ingredient in the food supply." They're asking the FDA to change its status from "generally recognized as safe" to "food additive," giving the federal agency more regulatory muscle to limit salt in processed food. (A similar lawsuit by CSPI was dismissed in federal court some two decades ago.)

The advocacy group believes other concerns -- trans fats and carbohydrates to name a pair -- have distracted their attention from the dangers of excessive salt consumption. Their concerns are valid, considering salt consumption has steadily increased in the last several decades, with Americans consuming a daily average of 3,375 milligrams of sodium, far exceeding the 2,300 milligrams (roughly a teaspoon) recommended by the FDA.

What the group is calling attention to -- processed and restaurant foods -- is the source of about 75 percent of the salt Americans consume daily. Generally, cutting out these processed foods from your diet, which should be done for a number of health reasons, would drastically reduce the amount of salt you consume.

Fact is, salt is not as bad as we have constantly been told. In fact, most people are harmed by true low-salt diets. While restricting salt may indeed be beneficial in some cases, others will easily consume a healthy amount of salt if they follow a nutritious diet based on my Total Health Program.

South Florida Sun-Sentinel February 25, 2005

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