FDA has issued draft guidance for public comment that targets reducing the food industry’s use of sodium. The agency says current average sodium consumption is about 3,400mg/day, which is approximately 50 percent more than the recommended levels.

Most of that sodium, the agency maintains, comes from processed and prepared foods, not salt added by consumers. “Many Americans want to reduce sodium in their diets, but that’s hard to do when much of it is in everyday products we buy in stores and restaurants,” HHS secretary Sylvia Burwell says.

Leon Bruner, chief science officer for the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA), says the trade group welcomes a dialogue with FDA on its sodium-reduction targets but wants to make sure the best and most recent science is taken into account when determining sodium intake levels for the optimal health of all Americans.

He adds food manufacturers have already made more than 30,000 healthier products available to consumers by reducing sodium, calories, sugar and saturated fat, while increasing whole grains, fruits and vegetables.