F.D.A. extends comment periods on sodium

by Jeff Gelski
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The deadlines move back for comments on both 2-year targets and 10-year targets for sodium reduction.

WASHINGTON — The Food and Drug Administration has extended two comment periods on its draft guidance to the industry on voluntary sodium reduction. The comment period for 2-year sodium reduction targets moved to Oct. 17 from Aug. 31. The comment period for the 10-year targets moved to Dec. 2 from Oct. 31.

The F.D.A. in the June 2 issue of the Federal Register issued the draft guidance, which set voluntary goals for sodium reduction in a variety of food categories that are commercially processed, packaged or prepared. Daily average sodium intake per person in the United States is about 3,400 mg, according to the F.D.A. The draft guidance gives a 2-year goal of reducing intake to 3,000 mg per day and a 10-year goal of reducing intake to 2,300 mg per day.

The F.D.A., when announcing the extended comment periods on Aug. 18, said it had received eight requests from industry trade associations to extend both comment periods to provide a total of 180 days for comment on the short-term and long-term targets. Three requests from consumer and public health organizations asked that the targets remain unchanged. 
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