The Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) has published new data on the levels of sodium in processed foods. CSPI apparently found that of the more than 500 products tested in 2005 and retested for this report, “[t]he average sodium content of 528 has remained essentially constant, increasing by a slight 0.6 percent. About as many products (109) increased by more than five percent as decreased (114) by that percentage. And there were almost twice as many (29) products that increased by 30 percent or more as decreased by that percentage (18).” CSPI calls on restaurateurs and food processors to “lower the sodium content of their foods for the sake of their customers’ health
and to avoid unflattering publicity.” The advocacy group also calls on the federal government to set sodium limits for processed foods and for the Food and Drug Administration to change salt’s regulatory status from “Generally Recognized as Safe” (GRAS) to a “food additive.”

Consumer Reports has also analyzed the salt content in foods such as breakfast cereal, candy and bagels and found that they contain relatively high levels per serving. For example, four strands of black licorice twists were found to contain 200 mg of salt and a chocolate-flavored instant pudding and pie filling mix had 420 mg of salt per serving. According to the magazine, “You might be getting sodium, even if you don’t see ‘sodium chloride’ listed as an ingredient, in the form of disodium guanylate, disodium inosinate, sodium caseinate, sodium benzoate, sodium bicarbonate, sodium nitrite, and other combinations.” Americans generally consume more sodium than the recommended daily limit, according to Consumer Reports, which notes that the limit is 2,300 mg per day and 1,500 mg or less for those trying to control high blood pressure. The article warns, “The bad news is that sodium lurks in foods that you’d never think to check.”

About The Author

For decades, manufacturers, distributors and retailers at every link in the food chain have come to Shook, Hardy & Bacon to partner with a legal team that understands the issues they face in today's evolving food production industry. Shook attorneys work with some of the world's largest food, beverage and agribusiness companies to establish preventative measures, conduct internal audits, develop public relations strategies, and advance tort reform initiatives.