What’s more important: the health of Canadians or the financial health of industry?

Why does the government impose laws when it comes to big money but not health?

   
Have you written to your Member of Parliament to support NDP MP Libby Davies’ Private Member’s Bill- Bill C-460- The Sodium Reduction Strategy for Canada Act?

I have and finally heard from my M.P.,  John Carmichael. It took a few emails and phone calls and then after tweeting him about his not answering my request, I received a phone call and then a letter.  It only took one month and six days.
Letter-John Carmichael 001XXXXX                                                   xxxx           Click on letter to read

As you can see from his letter,  the government  says it’s up to the individual to make smart food choices and for the food industry to follow.  It’s not up to the “government to determine how much salt should be added to food.”

Ha!

So how is a Canadian supposed to deal with the fact that so many Canadian food products  are among the highest in the world in terms of sodium content?

On average,  fast food French fries in Canada provide double the sodium of those in the U.S. So you might say, skip the fries and go for something healthy – let’s say a bowl of bran cereal. Seems like a smart choice.

Think again.

The average sodium content one bowl of All-Bran you can buy in Canada contains 620 milligrams of sodium (more than one-third of the daily recommended intake for adults) compared to 160 milligrams of sodium in the U.S. 

Our government doesn’t want to interfere.

Ha, again.

So why then did they convene an expert committee, spending millions of dollars on the process and then ignore their findings?

The government of Canada doesn’t want to interfere with the financial status quo. A look at the Greek yogurt situation in Canada provides a good example.  Chobani, the maker of Greek yogurt, one of the hottest products in the market, is getting shut out of Canada due to the government’s dairy supply management policies which protect the industry’s high prices.

Where is the individual choice here?

Our government is ignoring the fact that all major groups with an interest in our health are supporting this bill. This includes Dietitians of Canada along with other national health associations including the Canadian Medical Association, Canadian Nurses Association, Canadian Pharmacists Association and the Centre for Science in the Public Interest.

Isn’t Health Canada supposed to be interested in our health?

It’s definitely time for the government of Canada to put their money where your mouth is.

XXX

Have you emailed your M.P. and heard  back?  Do you think the federal government should back the bill? Please share your thoughts in the comment section below.

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Categories: Rosie's Rants

Author:Rosie Schwartz

Rosie Schwartz is a Toronto-based consulting dietitian and writer.

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2 Comments on “What’s more important: the health of Canadians or the financial health of industry?”

  1. January 21, 2013 at 12:00 pm #

    Sadly, not surprised at these results. 😦 Funny though, if health Canada doesn’t care about us, why then should we believe ANYTHING they say are healthy food choices; IE: the Canada Food Guide.) Just sayin’. Truly, I trust me..and just about NO ONE ELSE. I have to be my own food police. At least I know what I put in my food.

    • January 21, 2013 at 12:06 pm #

      Thanks for your comments, Susanne. You’re absolutely right! When the government repeatedly does not act on issues that are fundamental to our health, their credibility plummets. It’s too bad that they don’t realize this. They continue to waste taxpayers’ money on educational programs and on health care itself when they could simply empower Canadians to take better of themselves.

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