The FDA has set voluntary targets for around 150 categories of foods, from cheese to cooking sauces

The FDA has set voluntary targets for around 150 categories of foods, from cheese to cooking sauces

The Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) has urged the US Food & Drug Administration (FDA) to extend its timeline for meeting short-term reduction goals aimed at cutting sodium consumption from two to "at least four years" and to "streamline" categories of products involved.

Chief science officer Leon Bruner said the GMA and its member companies "are committed to continuing efforts to provide consumers with plenty of choices and have been making strides in reformulating products to provide lower sodium options".

However, the GMA said extending the timeframe for implementation of voluntary sodium targets for the food industry, set out by the FDA earlier this year, "will allow adequate time for reformulations as well as the time needed to transition consumers' taste preferences to accept reduced-sodium in products".

The GMA is also recommending the FDA assess the progress towards these short-term goals after five years.

In June, the FDA outlined its bid to reduce the average salt consumption from 3,400 milligrams per person per day to 2,300mg. The FDA has put forward proposals for there to be two sets of voluntary targets for the food industry and is inviting comment. 

Under the plans, interim, two-year targets will be set to try to reduce consumption to "about" 3,000mg a day. A more ambitious, second target for manufacturers to meet over a 10-year period to bring the average daily intake down to 2,300mg will also be put in place.

The FDA has put forward the two-year targets for 90 days of public comment. The ten-year targets is open for comment for 150 days.

The US Dietary Guidelines for Americans, issued earlier this year, recommend adults limit their sodium intake to 2,300mg a day.