The American Heart Association has called for reinforcements in its battle to decrease sodium amounts in food, turning to a Washington law firm as its first outside lobbying shop since 2008.
Olsson Frank Weeda Terman Matz is helping draft "a strategic plan to work with food companies interested in [reducing] sodium content of their products," according to lobbying registration paperwork filed with Congress on Tuesday. Firm principal Bruce Silverglade, who handles matters that include nutrition policy and food labeling, is handling the account.
Silverglade didn't immediately respond to requests for comment. Association spokeswoman Retha Sherrod didn't have an immediate comment.
"The American Heart Association is working with federal agencies to find ways to reduce the sodium in the food supply," the group says on its website. "We also encourage food manufacturers and restaurants to reduce the amount of sodium in foods as part of our national goal to dramatically improve the cardiovascular health of all Americans by the year 2020."
From 2009 to 2012, the organization had in-house lobbyists advocate for it on a litany of health matters, including healthy food legislation, congressional records show. The group in 2012 spent $724,000 on federal lobbying.
Olsson Frank specializes in representing members of the food, agriculture, medical device and drug industries. The firm last year lobbied for organizations that included Red Bull North America Inc., the North American Meat Association and the National Frozen Pizza Institute, according to congressional records.