In the past, people could only buy non-iodized salt in exclusive salt shops, and only with a hospital certificate. Recently, the sales of non-iodized salt began in supermarkets without needing any certificates. On August 12, reporters learned from the Beijing Salt Industry Corporation under the China National Salt Industry Corporation that 19 non-iodized salt retail outlets have been newly added in supermarkets such as Huatang Supermarket in Asian Sports Village and the New World Shopping Mall in Chongwenmen.
Non-iodized salt has been put on supermarket shelves
On August 12, the bottled "non-iodized refined salt" with a white body and blue cap have been put on shelves in the underground supermarket of the New World Shopping Mall in Chongwenmen, priced at 2.4 yuan a bottle. However, citizens did not seem to pay any special attention to it, and only a few shoppers bought it.
The non-iodized sea salt in bags has also been put on the shelves in the condiments section in the Huatang Supermarket in Asian Sports Village, with 500-gram bags priced at 3 yuan. The shop assistants said that the non-iodized salt has been sold in supermarkets recently and "does not require any hospital certificates." Shop assistants will remind the customers when they buy the non-iodized salt. The Huatang Supermarket said that they have sold about 200 bags of non-iodized salt in two weeks.
However, most supermarkets including Carrefour, Wal-Mart and Chaoshifa still do not sell non-iodized salt at the moment, and all the refined salt are iodized salt.
19 appointed sales outlets
Staff from the Beijing branch of the China National Salt Industry Corporation disclosed on August 12 that the bagged or bottled non-iodized salt was only sold in 19 sales outlets appointed by their company, and until recently, it began entering supermarkets, selling at a low price. It mainly provides convenience for the special population so they can buy non-iodized salt without needing any hospital certificates.
There are no new outlets planned for the future
Reporters learned that the 19 appointed retail outlets were chosen based on comprehensive factors including sales volume and regional distribution. The Beijing Municipal Commission of Commerce also expressed that the iodine intake by common people should be ensured and the increase of non-iodized salt sales outlets is just for facilitating the purchase to the special population. No new outlets are planned for the near future. As non-iodized salt is only provided to the special population under a strict sales control, customers should be given proper information before they purchase the product.
Citizens can dial the business numbers of the Beijing branch of the China National Salt Industry Corporation at 010-63472266 and 010-63472288 for consultations.
Hope to learn about the iodine intake conditions in Beijing
The problems of iodized salt has attracted much attention, and according to the compilation clarification of the "Iodine Content in Salt (Exposure Draft)" released by the Ministry of Health, Beijing is among the 16 provinces and cities that have a higher iodine intake than the sufficient quantity, and has room to reduce.
A consumer named Ms. Yuan said that the sales outlets in shopping malls and supermarkets will provide more convenience to the public. Ms. Yuan had been worried about the excess intake of iodine and wanted to buy some non-iodized salt in supermarkets but failed. "Now we can choose freely," she said.
Mr. Jiang said that as he does not know clearly about the proper amount of iodine intake and there are no hyperthyroidism patients in his home, he will not consider buying the non-iodized salt at present. Mr. Jiang thinks that the government should release more public information about the true conditions on iodine content in salt in order to reassure citizens.
According to the introduction from the Beijing Salt Industry Corporation website, the non-iodized salt consumers are mainly hyperthyroidism and thyroiditis patients.