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High Blood Pressure: Salt in our food is a major cause, but don't tell the FDA
About the author: 

Salt in our food is a major cause of high blood pressure (hypertension) - but it's news to the American food industry

Salt in our food is a major cause of high blood pressure (hypertension) - but it's news to the American food industry. There, salt intake from food has increased by 50 per cent since 1970 - and it's reckoned that 90 per cent of Americans will suffer from hypertension some time in their lives.

The blame can be placed at the door of America's drug regulator, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) which has decreed that salt is "generally recognised as safe".

Their position, say researchers, is out of step with similar bodies in the UK, Ireland, Finland and Australia, which have all set national targets for lowering salt intake, and have encouraged food manufacturers to comply with voluntary regulations.
If the FDA followed suit, manufacturers would have to get approval before adding salt to food, and the FDA would also have to set agreed limits.

Researchers reckon that around 150,000 lives could be saved every year in America if the nation halved its salt intake.
(Source: Journal of the American Medical Association, 2007; 298: 1439-41).

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