Statement from SNAC International CEO Regarding FDA Release of Sodium Targets per Food Category

June 1, 2016

SNAC International (formerly Snack Food Association) is supportive of our government using sound science to inform public policy. For this reason, SNAC International is disappointed that the FDA would release industry guidance and thresholds for a nutrient where the science is evolving.  Recent research (including a government funded IOM report and studies from the New England Journal of Medicine and The Lancet) points to the fact that there is not scientific consensus on appropriate sodium recommendations. In fact recently, sodium was one of just four nutrients chosen by the U.S. and Canadian governments as needing an updated Dietary Reference Intake (DRI), based on evidence of significant, new, and relevant data since the last DRI review, which took place more than ten years ago.  SNAC International's position has been that the DRI for sodium should be updated and the range of science should be thoroughly reviewed before population-wide guidance is implemented.

While SNAC International will review the proposed targets, these guidelines come at a time when many of SNAC International's members have already responded by voluntarily reducing sodium levels and introducing low and no sodium alternatives for consumers looking for these products for their individual dietary needs.

Until real scientific consensus is reached, policy changes to further reduce sodium intake should be avoided to minimize unintended consequences.  SNAC International will plan to respond to the request for comment on this draft and will work with its members and the industry to offer consumers sodium alternatives in their products.