As Asda and the Co-operative Group continue to campaign to cut the amount of salt in processed food on health grounds, the Salt Manufacturers' Association has questioned the science behind their arguement. On Salt Action day this week, the Co-op said it was committed to a gradual reduction in sodium content in processed foods and the use of Lo-Salt, which contains two-thirds less sodium chloride than ordinary salt, in its own brand products. And Asda said it has taken 900 tonnes of salt out of its products since it begun a salt reduction campaign in October 1998. But SMA general secretary Peter Sherratt said: "There is an absence of consensus among scientists on the effects of salt on the general population. Our research suggests it presents no discernable risk. This situation could be the latest food-science debacle to involve the diet." According to Sherratt, an upcoming Food Standards Agency review will not address the situation satisfactorily. He said: "We would question the independence and objectivity of a body which has already made up its mind that salt is bad for you." Co-operative Group marketing development manager Susan Bromley said: "There is much evidence to support the fact that too much salt is bad for health and as a community retailer we are determined to play our part in helping our customers reduce their salt intake." Salt action group Consensus Action on Salt and Health says salt is linked to high blood pressure, strokes and heart attacks, as well as cancer of the stomach and osteoporosis. {{NEWS }}