FDA’s approval of a “potassium salt” citizen petition could represent a potential windfall for potassium chloride manufacturers while assisting food companies in complying with FDA’s goal of reducing sodium consumption.
- On June 26, 2016, NuTek Food Science, LLC petitioned FDA to recognize “potassium salt” as an alternate name for potassium chloride, noting that although potassium chloride has been an ingredient in food for years, consumers often conflate potassium chloride with chlorine or other chemicals. The petition specifically requests “the commissioner to issue guidance recognizing ‘potassium salt’ as an additional common or usual name for potassium chloride as that ingredient is defined in 21 C.F.R. § 184.1622”.
- The Salt Institute, which represents salt producers, has urged FDA to reject NuTek’s petition, arguing that granting the petitioner’s request would represent a fundamental shift in FDA’s position regarding the common or usual name for potassium chloride and, as such, should be subject to notice and comment rulemaking. At odds with the Salt Institute, the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) supports the petition, arguing that the petition promotes truthful and accurate labeling and could potentially help reduce sodium intake.
- FDA’s approval of this petition could represent a potential windfall for potassium chloride manufacturers while assisting food companies in complying with FDA’s recently enumerated goal of reducing sodium consumption. At the same time, FDA’s approval of the petition could also encourage other ingredient manufacturers to request name changes for ingredients with “chemical-sounding” names. Comments are due to FDA by December 26, 2016