USDA asked to limit salt in poultry
The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) has been
petitioned to set limits on the levels of salt that can be used in meat and
petition was filed by consumer advocacy group Center for Science in the Public Interest
(CSPI). It comes just over a year after the group petitioned the Food and Drug Administration
(FDA) to revoke the "generally recognized as safe" (GRAS) status of
According to CSPI's latest petition, the wide variations in the
amounts of salt found in different brands of similar meat and poultry products
â€œclearly demonstrate that it is feasible for the firms making high-sodium
products to lower sodium levels and still have tasty products that would be
competitive in the market place.â€
Excess sodium has been shown to increase the chance of developing
hypertension, heart disease, and stroke. According to the American Medical
Association, most Americans consume two to three times the amount of sodium
that is healthy, with an estimated 75 to 80% of the daily intake of sodium
coming from processed and restaurant foods. There is growing consumer and
regulatory concern with reformulation efforts.
The USDA already sets ceilings on numerous ingredients used
in the preparation of meat and poultry products such as citric acid, sodium
citrate, potassium lactate, calcium lactate, sodium lactate, tocopherol, sodium
caseinate, dry or dried whey, ascorbic acid, and sodium ascorbate.
In addition, the
regulatory agency already has a ceiling on the amount of salt that can be used
in chilling raw poultry products.
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