(Washington, D.C.) The Grocery Manufacturers Association issued the following statement by Leon Bruner, Chief Science Officer, on the draft sodium reduction guidelines and food category targets released today by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
“GMA and its member companies are committed to continue our efforts to provide consumers with healthful choices. We welcome a dialogue with FDA on its sodium reduction targets and look forward to working with the agency to ensure the best and most recent science is taken into account when determining sodium intake levels for optimal health for all Americans.
“Success in cutting sodium consumption will require a holistic approach that includes actions by manufacturers, retailers and restaurants and that addresses consumer behaviors and preferences.
“GMA members are continuing to improve the nutritional profile of their products and have made more than 30,000 healthier product choices available to consumers between 2002 and 2013 by reducing sodium, calories, sugar and saturated fat, and increasing whole grains, fruits and vegetables. These include 6,500 product choices with reduced sodium, as GMA member companies have been reformulating products to provide lower sodium options to help consumers achieve healthy sodium intake levels. A 2014 study shows that the food and beverage industry reduced sodium in products purchased by consumers by 16 percent over five years (between 2008 and 2013) – a total of 28 million pounds. This is equivalent to over 100 mg sodium per person per day.
“Like others inside and outside of government, we believe additional work is needed to determine the acceptable range of sodium intake for optimal health. This evaluation should include research that indicates health risks for people who consume too much sodium as well as health risks from consuming too little sodium.”
The Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) is the trade organization representing the world’s leadingfood, beverage and consumer products companies and associated partners. The U.S. food, beverage and consumer packaged goods industry has facilities in 30,000 communities, generates $1 trillion in sales annually, contributes $415 billion in added value to the economy every year and is the single largest U.S. manufacturing industry with 1.7 million manufacturing workers. Founded in 1908, GMA has a primary focus on product safety, science-based public policies and industry initiatives that seek to empower people with the tools and information they need to make informed choices and lead healthier lives. For more information, visit gmaonline.org.