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Wolfson Institute of Preventive Medicine - Barts and The London

Call for Food Manufacturer Salt Reduction Targets to be made mandatory

The Wolfson’s Action on Salt Research group has today called for UK salt reduction targets set in September this year to be made mandatory, in the light of evidence that food manufacturers have not met the previous voluntary targets. As an example, the group are citing the results of their latest report, which shows that Warburtons have failed entirely to reduce the salt in their crumpets over the last four years. “The UK’s number 1 crumpet” remains the saltiest such product on the market, and the salt in Warburtons gluten-free crumpets has actually increased by more than a third, despite the existence of a UK-wide salt reduction programme. Reducing salt intake is the most cost-effective measure to lower blood pressure and reduce the number of people suffering from strokes and heart disease, two of the biggest causes of death worldwide.

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Sonia Pombo, Nutritionist at Action on Salt says: “Our findings show a clear divide between the food companies that are actively trying to improve the nation's health and those that aren’t. Three years on from the 2017 salt reduction targets, some companies are still failing to make meaningful reductions in salt, despite it being clearly achievable. With new targets now set for 2024, it’s time they stopped dithering and started levelling up with the more responsible manufacturers.”