from Dr Susan Jebb, Medical Research Council, Human Nutrition

Sir; The Salt Manufacturers’ Association fails to understand the basis of population-based dietary guidelines (The Grocer, Letters, October 15, p30).
A salt intake of 6g per day is a population average target, not an estimate of the daily needs of every individual. To put the debate in context, the amount required to meet the needs of 97.5% of the population is only 4g of salt per day, while current intakes average 9.5g per day.
The public health issue on salt is one of excess, not deficiency. The scientific evidence linking a high salt intake to high blood pressure is now well accepted and is reflected in independent scientific reports. Reducing salt intake can lower blood pressure, especially as part of broader changes in diet and lifestyle.
For the most part, the food industry has recognised this evidence and is working to decrease the salt content of food. This important contribution to public health is being undermined by the diversionary tactics of the SMA.