WASHINGTON – Last week, the National Restaurant Association said in comments filed to the Food and Drug Administration and the US Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service that government mandates aren’t the way to go in reducing sodium in food.

"Incremental reductions over time are the best way that meaningful sodium reductions will occur,” the association wrote. “Mandatory targets are unrealistic, unnecessary and fail to address head-on the primacy of how consumers purchase, prepare and consume foods every day.”

Sodium reduction for menu items is a complex, highly technical, expensive and labor-intensive task that challenges current knowledge and food-science limits for product development, the letter added.

Last September, the agencies solicited comments on how to reduce sodium consumption in the US.