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European Union looks at dietary reference values for sodium

Its own draft scientific opinion on dietary reference values for sodium is the European Food Safety Authority’s next subject for public comment.

The Parma, Italy-based authority (EFSA) is especially seeking feedback on the way it plants to select and use evidence in its salty assessment. The EFSA is the agency of the European Union that provides independent scientific advice and communicates on existing and emerging risks associated with the food chain.

As part of the assessment, EFSA will systematically review literature on the relationship between sodium intake and health problems such as cardiovascular disease and bone health.

EFSA’s Panel on Dietetic Products, Nutrition, and Allergies (NDA) has developed a protocol describing the steps to be followed for the collection, selection, appraisal and integration of the evidence.

The draft protocol applies to the missing sections of the EFSA’s scientific opinion — the assessment of possible relationships between sodium intake and health outcomes, including dose-response relationships, and the integration of different lines of evidence for setting dietary reference values (DRVs).

The documents are published together in order to receive input from stakeholders on the parts of the opinion that have been used to inform the draft protocol, and on the methodology foreseen to inform the remaining parts covered by the protocol.

The protocol was developed in accordance with EFSA’s Prometheus approach to dealing with data and evidence in scientific assessments.

Interested parties are invited to submit comments on the proposed protocol and other parts of the assessment by Nov. 12.

The EFSA will revise the draft opinion and protocol in light of the comments received. The completed assessment, including recommendations on DRVs, will be made available for a second public consultation.

In line with EFSA’s policy on openness and transparency, the scientific community and other stakeholders are invited to submit written comments. The documents and comment instructions are available at: Public consultation on draft scientific opinion on dietary reference values for sodium.

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