Thursday, February 24, 2005

Not ambitious enough!

The "Center for Science in the Public Interest" is suing the FDA. They want them to classify salt as a food additive thus giving the feds the ability to control its amounts in food (FOX). Currently salt is considered to be "generally safe" by the FDA and is therefore not subject to such oversight.

Personally, I think this watchdog group is under-reaching. If they had any real strength of conviction, they'd aim to have it classified as a medication so it would only be available by prescription.

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3 Comments:

Blogger Henry Stern, LUTCF said...

Yeah, but then we'd have to import it from Canada!

;-))

February 24, 2005 5:59 PM  
Blogger Henry Stern, LUTCF said...

Then there's the matter of types of salt:

"Kosher" salt would be exempt based on the 1st amendment

"Sea" salt would, of course, be subject to the Law of the Sea

"Rock" salt would, of course, be regulated by the Dept of Agriculture

and

"Water Softener" salt would fall under the aegis of the EPA.

February 24, 2005 6:03 PM  
Blogger Phil Marrow said...

Hgstern's comments are clever. The report on which the "Center for Science in the Public Interest" bases its recommendations is "Salt: the Forgotten Killer" by Michael F. Jacobson, a Ph.D. in Microbiology from M.I.T. He makes some good observations based on previous and on-going studies. His logic in some areas of the commentary is flawed. page v "The Bottom Line: Reducing sodium cosumption by half would save an estimated 150,000 lives per year. That would in turn reduce medical care and other costs by roughly $1.5 trillion over 20 years." Sounds good, but here's where he got those numbers; the FDA's figures for listing trans fats on labels "...projected that saving 1,276 lives per year would yield benefits over 20 years of $13.1 billion. By extrapolation, saving 150,000 lives per year by cutting sodium consumption from 4,000mg to 2,000mg per day would provide a savings of roughly $1.5 trillion over 20 years." The second statement may have some validity, but logically the first does not follow that premise. Also, using the Yanomami tribe in Brazil and Venezuela as an example of "hypertension-free" because they have no added sodium in their diet, ignores the other risk factors involved in hypertension and cardiovascular disease.

February 25, 2005 1:19 PM  

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