February 2 2012
Lower Salt; Lower Life Expectancy
Since announcing it would begin accepting comments on “approaches to reducing sodium consumption,” the FDA has received hundreds of comments from medical professionals, trade associations, chefs, health researchers, food manufacturers, and regular citizens concerned about this paternalistic government overreach. IWF submitted comments in opposition to the FDA’s regulatory move in November 2011.
Now the FDA must deal with a mound of negative reaction to the proposed regulations (see all comments here). Perhaps the most persuasive (and frightening) comments come from two medical researchers at Copenhagen University Hospital in Denmark.
In their letter to the FDA, Niels Graudal and Gesche Jürgens warn of the dire consequences of this government action (emphasis mine):
[W]e would like to state that the `science’ on which the FDA policy on sodium reduction is based is dubious. This truth is already unmistakable now for most interested scientists and sooner or later it will be clear also to laymen. When this happens there will be responsible persons who would have a problem as the present recommendations may kill people instead of saving them. We therefore suggest that FDA, instead of considering how to reduce the sodium intake in the population, reconsiders the policy.
Graudal and Jürgens based their comments on their own widely-respected research (the findings of which were published in the American Journal of Hypertension) in which they analyzed 167 other studies on salt and found that low-sodium diets increase likelihood of premature death.