(Washington, D.C.) The Grocery Manufacturers Association released the following statement from Dr. Leon Bruner, GMA’s Chief Science Officer, in response to articles recently published in the New England Journal of Medicine on sodium intake and health outcomes.
“GMA members have been reformulating products for decades to provide lower sodium options to help consumers achieve healthy sodium intake levels. Our industry has reformulated thousands of products to reduce sodium content and meet consumer taste preferences. The industry has also developed a wide variety of reduced, low or no-added sodium products to help consumers follow recommendations of their health care professionals.
“And while we are committed to continuing in our efforts to provide consumers with these lower sodium product options, we think that the articles such as those recently published in the New England Journal of Medicine warrant serious consideration by some public health authorities. In particular, the article by O’Donnell and colleagues further adds to the scientific evidence that low sodium consumption, at levels recommended by public health organizations, may actually increase cardiovascular risk. Therefore, it is vitally important that we undertake definitive studies to resolve the health impacts, both positive and adverse, of low sodium consumption to ensure public health interventions aimed at lowering sodium consumption provide benefit and do not cause harm.
“In addition, the U.S. Federal government needs to conduct an independent credible reassessment of the Dietary Reference Intakes, which form the basis for current sodium intake recommendations. This reassessment is critical to establishing public health policy that does not harm the health of US consumers.”
Based in Washington, D.C., the Grocery Manufacturers Association is the voice of more than 300 leading food, beverage and consumer product companies that sustain and enhance the quality of life for hundreds of millions of people in the United States and around the globe.
Founded in 1908, GMA is an active, vocal advocate for its member companies and a trusted source of information about the industry and the products consumers rely on and enjoy every day. The association and its member companies are committed to meeting the needs of consumers through product innovation, responsible business practices and effective public policy solutions developed through a genuine partnership with policymakers and other stakeholders.
In keeping with its founding principles, GMA helps its members produce safe products through a strong and ongoing commitment to scientific research, testing and evaluation and to providing consumers with the products, tools and information they need to achieve a healthy diet and an active lifestyle. The food, beverage and consumer packaged goods industry in the United States generates sales of $2.1 trillion annually, employs 14 million workers and contributes $1 trillion in added value to the economy every year.