Filed Under: Big Government

CSPI’s Latest Salt Trick, With a Dash of Unintended Consequences

We weren’t surprised when the latest anti-salt activity from the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) hit the wires today. This is from the group that called salt the “deadly white powder you already snort.” CSPI president Michael Jacobson reiterated his tired call for salt regulation citing a figure from a two-year-old Institutes of Medicine policy paper.

So, is cutting out the white mineral the secret to long life? Hardly. Despite big-government busybodies and activist groups clamoring to drive a basic taste from restaurant menus, the evidence for sodium reduction at the population level is mixed at best and potentially harmful at worst.

If CSPI’s position ends up giving them a black eye, it wouldn’t be the first time. In the late 1980s, CSPI’s own Nutrition Action Healthletter concluded that “[a]ll told, the charges against trans fat just don’t add up.” After changing their tune and declaring trans fat a killer about twenty years later, the scramble to replace trans-fatty partially hydrogenated cooking oil led to complaints from CSPI that the substitutes harmed orangutan habitats. Small wonder CSPI’s dietary ideology has been termed “perpetual Lent.”

Given the vigor of CSPI’s opposition to practically anything tasty, it shouldn’t be surprising that salt is in the line of fire. But we suppose it could be worse. New York Mayor and member of the Forbes 400 rich list Michael Bloomberg, the nation’s top salt cop, may back CSPI’s salt purge, but Hizzoner’s view seems to be “salt for me but not for ye.”

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