More reaction to FSA salt targets

21/05/2009 - 00:00
Julian Hunt, of the Food and Drink Federation, has responded to the Food Standards Agency's (FSA) revised voluntary salt reduction targets for the food industry, stating that she is delighted with the plans and is fully committed to working with the FSA.

"It's great to see the Food Standards Agency (FSA) recognises that manufacturers have made considerable reductions in salt levels to date, and - as we have been saying for some time - that the UK is leading the world in this area. "FDF's members are committed to working with FSA to continue reducing levels of salt in our products and providing lower salt options where technologically possible, safe and acceptable to consumers. As always, food safety is industry's first priority. "We'll work with our members to understand where the challenges are greatest and whether further investment will see sufficient progress in the timescale set by FSA. In some circumstances, further significant salt reductions will not be possible until new, innovative technologies, processing techniques and ingredient solutions are developed. We believe that targets are a relatively simplistic approach to driving progress and we've outlined to FSA where the particular challenges lie. "FDF is also playing its part in enhancing communication to the consumer. Industry's salt reduction efforts are underpinned by the widespread use of front-of-pack nutrition labels using Guideline Daily Amount information to educate consumers that they should aim to consume no more than 6g of salt a day." Meanwhile the British Heart Foundation (BHF) said food manufacturers must step up on to the plate and reduce salt levels. Alex Callagham, policy officer at the BHF, said: "While it is fantastic the nation is reducing its salt intake, we are still moving at a snail's pace. At the current rate of reduction, it would take us 15 years to reach the 6g per day target, putting another generation at risk of high blood pressure and heart disease. "Food manufacturers must step up to the plate and do all that they can to reduce the vast amounts of salt we consume in everyday products, such as cereals and ready meals. "As well as reducing salt, they can also help busy shoppers in supermarkets to make healthier choices by using a food labelling system that incorporates traffic lights, GDAs, and the words high, medium or low."

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