Salt Institute to Dissolve
Statement of CSPI Senior Scientist Michael F. Jacobson
It might seem the stuff of satire that there is a trade association devoted to defending the amount of salt in our food supply—which contributes to hypertension and cardiovascular disease—and on our roads. Or at least there was: the Salt Institute will close its doors at the end of this month. And it will not be missed. Over the years the Salt Institute has purposefully muddied the waters on sodium intake and health, going as far to say that Americans are eating just the right amount of sodium—a position rejected by virtually every health authority. If there were any doubt, it evaporated with yesterday’s report from the National Academy of Sciences, which concluded that cutting current levels of salt consumption would lower not only blood pressure, but also the risk of cardiovascular disease.
While we will no longer have the Salt Institute with us, much work remains to bring salt down to safer levels in packaged and restaurant food. For starters, we hope the Food and Drug Administration will finalize its voluntary sodium-reduction targets for industry. And we will continue to seek to reverse the Trump administration’s rollback of sodium limits in school meals.