Who Should Have a Say About Your Salt?

According to the Institute of Medicine, the FDA should step in and regulate the amount of salt that is allowed to be present in foods because most of the salt that gets into our bodies comes from processed and restaurant food and simply telling us to eat less salt isn’t working.  While the FDA isn’t currently working on any regulations, they are considering the panel’s report.  The question though, is should they be able to regulate salt?

On the one hand, are the health issues.  Increased amounts of salt in one’s diet is responsible for higher blood pressure, kidney failure, and strokes.  Clearly, those are all bad.  By decreasing the amount of salt in our foods, an FDA regulation would, in turn, improve the health of the majority of America.  The FDA regulates many other foods that we eat on a constant basis, why should salt be any different?  What about health insurance?  With more people getting sick because of their poor diets, health insurance premiums will increase across the board.  Aren’t they high enough already?

On the other hand, while the FDA does, indeed, regulate other foods, most of them are to protect us from diseases in the food itself, not diseases caused by the food.  Should beef carrying the virus that causes Mad Cow Disease be treated the same as salt?  Where does this regulation end?  Will they cut back our butter intake because it causes higher cholesterol?  By that same virtue, why not limit the amount of milk that someone over a certain age should drink because it may cause kidney stones?  While it may be true that many Americans haven’t heeded to the warning that a salt-rich diet leads to poor health, should mom and dad government hold our hand telling us how much we can have?  It’s a slippery slope.

While this discussion is ongoing and the FDA has yet to decide whether or not to pursue regulations, what are your feelings about the issue?

To read the original article, please go to http://www.reuters.com/assets/print?aid=USTRE63J0JN20100421

One Comments

  1. joyce robertson

    If you want to add additional salt to something you always can. At the same time, you cannot take the salt out. Most products you buy are too salty, but you buy what is available.