October 27, 2021

Volume XI, Number 300

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October 27, 2021

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FDA Issues Guidance on Voluntary Sodium Reduction

  • FDA has issued food industry guidance for voluntary sodium reduction targets in foods.  The guidance is intended to provide voluntary short-term goals for food manufacturers, chain restaurants, and food service operators for 163 categories of processed, packaged, and prepared foods.

  • FDA acknowledges that sodium is widely present in the American diet and that approximately 70% of total sodium intake is from sodium added during food manufacturing and commercial food preparation.  Average sodium intake in the U.S. is approximately 3,400 mg/day, whereas the Dietary Guidelines for Americans and recommendations from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine advise individuals 14 years and older to limit their consumption to 2,300 mg/day.  The targets in the final guidance seek to decrease average sodium intake from 3,400 mg to 3,000 mg/day over the next 2.5 years.

  • The Agency recommends that the food industry work to meet both a target mean concentration and an upper bound concentration of sodium for various specified categories of foods as soon as possible.  In the future, FDA plans to issue revised targets to further lower the sodium content and continue to help reduce the sodium intake.  FDA notes that such voluntary and gradual approaches have been successful in other countries, such as Canada and the U.K.

  • The FDA guidance follows a petition and lawsuit filed by the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI). CSPI now requests that FDA provide consumer education on the importance of sodium reduction, finalize long-term sodium reduction targets, and consider mandatory standards.

© 2021 Keller and Heckman LLPNational Law Review, Volume XI, Number 287
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About this Author

Keller and Heckman offers global food and drug services to its clients. Our comprehensive and extensive food and drug practice is one of the largest in the world. We promote, protect, and defend products made by the spectrum of industries regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the European Commission and Member States authorities in the European Union (EU) and similar authorities throughout the world. The products we help get to market include foods, pharmaceuticals, medical devices, veterinary products, dietary supplements, and cosmetics. In addition...

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