Wednesday, 20 May 2009

You Gave Them An Inch, Why Complain When They Come Back For The Mile?

Food manufacturers gave in and reduced the amount of salt in their products as a result of a sustained lobbying campaign. Did that appease the campaigners?

Well, what do you think?
Pre-packed sandwiches, pizzas and cheese will have the amount of salt they contain slashed under proposals from food watchdogs.

Big brands are in the firing line from the Food Standards Agency's tough salt-reduction targets, including Kellogg's corn flakes.

Health campaigners claim that more than 7,000 people are dying earlier than necessary each year because they eat too much salt.
A claim they can’t in any way prove, but then, since when did that matter any more?

After all, in modern science, if you seek out, and then find, evidence that actually contradicts your theory, then the evidence must be wrong, and not your theory

But I digress:
However, manufacturers, including the Federation of Bakers, argue that the public is not prepared to accept the change in taste that will result from using less salt.

They also claim that salt operates as a useful preservative.
‘The public’…? What have they got to do with this?

They can just help themselves to a big mug of ‘Shut the hell up’. Their betters are talking:
Rosemary Hignett, of the FSA, said: 'To continue to make progress we have set 2012 targets at levels that will make a further real impact on consumers' intakes, while taking into account technical and safety issues associated with taking salt out of food.'
In other words: ‘Suckers! You thought you could appease the crocodile!’
Stephen Robertson, of the British Retail Consortium, said: 'Our members are Europe's leaders in salt reduction and have made fantastic progress in the last decade.

'But the new salt targets are much harder and, in some cases, we believe customers won't accept the change in taste.'
Sorry, Steve, but you should never have taken the bait the first time. You cannot satisfy these people.

They don’t care whether customers will accept this or not. As far as they are concerned, customers aren’t there to take informed decisions and exercise a choice, they are there to live their lives according to the latest whim or diktat from government.
Gordon Polson, of the Federation of Bakers, said it could be ' technically impossible' for the industry to deliver further reductions 'without compromising taste or quality'.
Yeah, I’m betting they aren’t going to let any ‘technical’ matters stand in their way, Gordon. Your companies are ‘rich’, they can just bear the huge cost. If you go to the wall as a result, they’ll be just as happy with that.

And, on cue:
However, Graham MacGregor, a professor of cardiovascular medicine and chairman of the salt reduction lobbying group CASH, insists more must be done.

He said: 'It's sad to see that some bakers and ham and bacon producers are not prepared to lower the salt content of their products and we can only speculate that this is for commercial reasons. Is it really worth thousands of lives? '
Why, yes! That’s the only possible reason for the companies to balk at this unscientific hogwash, isn’t it? They positively relish the thought of killing off their customer base!


Update: The inimitable 'Daily Mash's' take on this.

Hat tip: Pavlov's Cat in the comments


Old BE said...

Too bloody right, great post.

Why do we plebs sit back and take this nannying though? I am going to rebel by increasing the amount of salt in my home-cooked food.

Umbongo said...

CASH is not exactly a fake charity since almost 80% of its 2008 income was provided by Nissan UK. WTF is a car company doing financing these dildos? Anyway, fake charity or not, CASH is financed by you and me indirectly since Nissan UK has, in effect, successfully blackmailed the government to get subsidies from the taxpayer.

Pavlov's Cat said...

Well according to DK , 1. Does the charity receive more than 10% of its income from the tax-payer AND/OR receive more than £1,000,000 a year from the tax-payer?

2. Is the charity engaged in lobbying the government and/or influencing government policy?

If the answer to both of these questions is 'yes', then the charity goes on the database.

£23,500 from FSA out of £208,200 to me equals 11.29%

So I've submitted it.

Tosspots already ruined Heinz Tomato Soup for me

Stan said...

I don't understand why there is this obsession with increasing life expectancy by a year or two - especially when your old age is likely to be marked by impoverishment and decrepitness.

We can't afford the pensions commitment or the NHS burden as it is - if anything the government should be encouraging us to eat more salt, smoke more tobacco and drink more whisky.

AntiCitizenOne said...

There's not actually much evidence that salt increase heart disease.

If it really did then Japan would be struck by heart disease, and it's er... not.

I would guess that the LACK of salt in the diet would leave the population feeling tired, and thus less likely to exercise.

Anonymous said...

Bacon manufacturers wouldn't reduce the amount of salt in their product?

I am shocked, shocked I say.

Remind me again how you make bacon. Oh, I see.

Beyond stupid aren't they?

Pavlov's Cat said...

once again The Daily Mash


Dr Evil said...

Is CASH one of these 'ere fake chariidies by any chance?

JuliaM said...

"I am going to rebel by increasing the amount of salt in my home-cooked food."

A noble effort, but in vain. It never tastes the same!

"WTF is a car company doing financing these dildos? "

Most peculiar...

"Tosspots already ruined Heinz Tomato Soup for me"

They aren't finished. They are convinced they can ruin it some more...

"...if anything the government should be encouraging us to eat more salt, smoke more tobacco and drink more whisky."

Good point! They should, in fact, be lowering the tax on all those things... ;)

JuliaM said...

"If it really did then Japan would be struck by heart disease, and it's er... not."

Good point. Though I'm sure they'd simply wave it off by pointing out that the Japanese diet is high in fish and vegetables, which presumably have magical salt-erasing properties...

"Beyond stupid aren't they?"

Way beyond.

armouris said...

info on salt here - Eat Less Salt and here - Salt Can Cause Cancer

Pavlov's Cat said...


Accepted as a bonfide Fake Charity at on 25th May