NYC ANNOUNCES RESULTS TO REDUCE SODIUM IN PRE-PACKAGED FOODS

     (The following is a reformatted version of a press release
issued by the Office of the Mayor of the City of New York and
received via e-mail. The release was confirmed by the sender.
Michael Bloomberg is the founder and majority owner of
Bloomberg LP, parent company of Bloomberg News.) 
MAYOR BLOOMBERG, DEPUTY MAYOR GIBBS AND HEALTH COMMISSIONER FARLEY ANNOUNCE 
RESULTS OF NATIONAL EFFORT TO REDUCE SODIUM IN PRE-PACKAGED FOODS 
21 Companies Reduced Sodium in Popular Products Through Voluntary Partnership 
Nearly 80 Percent of Salt Intake Comes from Packaged or Restaurant Foods, Not 
Table Salt or Home Cooking; Cutting Salt Intake Lowers Blood Pressure, Improves 
Health Outcomes 
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services Linda I. 
Gibbs and Health Commissioner Thomas A. Farley today announced 21 companies met 
one or more of their voluntary commitments to reduce sodium content in 
pre-packaged or restaurant foods. The sodium reduction targets were by the 
National Salt Reduction Initiative – a partnership announced by Mayor Bloomberg 
in 2008, which is the first-ever nationwide partnership to reduce sodium in the 
U.S. food supply. These achievements demonstrate that food companies can make 
important, measureable improvements to the healthfulness of the foods that will 
appear on shelves across the United States. Most salt in the diet of Americans 
– nearly 80 percent – comes from packaged or restaurant foods, not table salt 
or home cooking, making it challenging for any individual to monitor sodium 
intake, and choose to decrease sodium intake. Approximately, 90 percent of 
Americans consume too much sodium, much of which comes from foods that do not 
always taste salty, such as bread, cold-cuts, cookies or tomato sauce. Cutting 
salt intake lowers blood pressure, a major preventable risk factor for heart 
disease and stroke, two of the leading causes of death in the United States. 
Researchers have estimated that reducing daily sodium intake by 1,200 
milligrams can prevent up to 92,000 deaths and save up to $24 billion in health 
care costs each year. The Mayor made the announcement at City Hall where he was 
joined by by Russ Moroz, Kraft Foods Vice-President of Research, Development 
and Quality; Douglas Balentine, Unilever Director of Nutrition and Health; 
Vincent Unanue, Goya Foods Category Manager; Charles Bell, Consumers Union 
Programs Director; Laura Wilson, Mondelēz International Director of Scientific 
and Regulatory Affairs/Nutrition; Kevin Kane, Subway Public Relations Manager; 
John Leeman, Fresh Direct Chief Marketing Officer; and Jocelyn Paal, LiDestri 
Foods/Francesco Rinaldi Marketing Manager. 
“Prior to our National Salt Reduction Initiative, there was no comprehensive 
approach to lowering sodium in foods, and many questioned whether companies 
would step up to meet a voluntary pledge,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “These 
companies have demonstrated their commitment to removing excess sodium from 
their products and to working with public health authorities toward a shared 
goal – helping their customers lead longer, healthier lives.” 
“For those who are watching their sodium intake, the hidden salt in packaged 
foods – particularly in items that don’t even taste salty – can be a real 
challenge,” said Deputy Mayor Gibbs. “This initiative, and industries’ active 
and willing participation, can give consumers reassurance that some companies 
are taking active steps to remove excess sodium from their products.” 
“I congratulate these companies for taking steps to make it easier for their 
customers to eat products with healthier levels of sodium,” said Health 
Commissioner Thomas Farley. “We set a high bar in New York City and I’m pleased 
to recognize these food company leaders that met or exceeded the NSRI targets.” 
“Many Americans are interested in reducing their sodium intake, so we’ve been 
working to lower sodium levels in our products for several years,” said Russ 
Moroz, Kraft’s Vice President of Research, Development & Quality. “In fact, we 
recently announced the completion of our own three-year commitment to reduce 
sodium across our portfolio by an average of 10 percent.” 
“Unilever agreed to participate in the National Salt Reduction Initiative as 
part of Unilever’s global salt reduction initiatives to reduce sodium across 
our foods and refreshment portfolio that started in 2004,” said Douglas 
Balentine, Director of Nutrition and Health at Unilever. 
“We are very proud of the significant reductions we’ve made to the sodium 
levels of our menu offerings, which we have been able to do without sacrificing 
flavor or quality,” said Lanette Kovachi, Senior Dietitian for the SUBWAY® 
brand. “Last year, as a result of meeting a set of rigorous criteria including 
our sodium reduction efforts, the SUBWAY® restaurant chain became the first 
restaurant with meals to earn the American Heart Association's Heart-Check Meal 
Certification. We have made a commitment to reduce sodium in all of our 
products and we expect to announce even more sodium reductions later this year. 
We are particularly pleased with our association with the New York City 
Department of Health and Mental Hygiene and the National Salt Reduction 
Initiative, which we view as a valuable partner as we pursue our goals in this 
area.” 
“As a participant in the National Salt Reduction Initiative, Heinz reduced 
sodium across our U.S. Ketchup base product line by 15 percent to exceed the 
2012 NSRI targets,” said Idamarie Laquatra, PhD, RD, Director of Global 
Nutrition, H.J. Heinz Company.  “Our complete line of Classico red pasta sauces 
met the 2012 NSRI targets before the initiative was even launched, and Heinz 
has voluntarily reduced sodium in other brands in recent years.  Reflecting our 
dedication to health and wellness, Heinz remains committed to reducing sodium 
across our portfolio as we look to meet or exceed the 2014 NSRI targets where 
feasible, while offering products that meet consumer expectations for quality 
and taste, as well as high food safety standards.” 
“These brands, and the executives leading them, have stepped forward to help 
address one of the most significant public health threats in our food supply 
today,” said Nancy Brown, CEO of the American Heart Association. “Furthermore, 
these industry leaders have set the stage for all other food and beverage 
companies and outlets to make sodium reduction a priority. 
The NSRI is a nationwide partnership of more than 90 city and state health 
authorities and organizations coordinated by New York City since 2009. The 
NSRI’s goal is to cut excess salt in packaged and restaurant foods by 25 
percent over five years through voluntary corporate commitments – an 
achievement that would reduce the nation’s sodium intake by 20 percent. 
Some of the nation’s food industry leaders have made great strides to cut 
sodium in their products. For example, sodium in Nabisco’s Teddy Grahams Honey 
flavor graham snacks made by Mondelēz International, the global snacking 
company formed following the spin-off of Kraft Foods Inc., was reduced 33 
percent from 150 mg to 100 mg per serving. The sodium in Kraft Singles American 
Slices has been reduced by 18 percent per serving. Unilever, the company that 
makes Ragu pasta sauce, announced that it reduced the sodium in its Ragu Old 
World Style Traditional Tomato Sauce by 20 percent per serving. 
As part of its efforts to lower sodium, restaurant chain Subway reduced sodium 
in two of the restaurant’s most popular sandwiches: the sodium in the Subway 
Club has been reduced by 32 percent per serving and the Italian B.M.T. sandwich 
now contains 27 percent less sodium. 
The food manufacturers that met 2012 NSRI sodium targets are: Butterball, 
Furmano Foods, Goya Foods, Heinz, Ken’s Foods, Kraft Foods, LiDestri 
Foods/Francesco Rinaldi, Mars Foods US, McCain Foods, Mondelēz International, 
Red Gold, Snyder’s-Lance, Unilever and White Rose. Restaurant chains include Au 
Bon Pain, Starbucks, Subway, and Uno’s Chicago Grill. Food retailers that met 
2012 NSRI sodium targets include Delhaize America, Fresh Direct, and Target 
Corporation. 
The NSRI has received extensive support from philanthropists and donors, 
including the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the Centers for 
Disease Control and Prevention, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, Robert Wood 
Johnson Foundation, the New York State Health Foundation, the National 
Association of County & City Health Officials. This funding is administered by 
the Fund for Public Health in New York, a private non-profit organization that 
supports innovative initiatives of the New York City Department of Health and 
Mental Hygiene. Companies interested in joining this initiative and committing 
to 2014 targets can find more information at nyc.gov. 
Contact: Marc La Vorgna/Samantha Levine (212) 788-2958 
Veronica Lewin  (Health) (347) 396-4177 
(rml) NY
 
 
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