The Conservative Government’s health minister did not need to read further. Minister Aglukkaq is a good party member. She shares the Tories’ distaste for requiring industry to adhere to health-promoting standards.
The remainder of the observations and recommendations were an expensive exercise in futility. Two years after the report was released, Health Canada is treating it like one more costly boondoggle instead of a blueprint for reducing salt consumption.
In an open letter to the Auditor General dated July 24, 2012, Dr. Yoni Freedhoff, Medical Director of the Bariatric Medical Institute and Assistant Professor at the University of Ottawa, took Health Canada to task for its pattern of striking committees and then completely disregarding their findings. He did not ask the Auditor General to rule on the scientific validity of the reports. He did ask why millions of taxpayer dollars were being spent on advisory panels and surveillance programs whose recommendations were subsequently ignored.
Of the Sodium Working Group and its two dozen recommendations, he wrote:
8 months later and Health Canada announced that rather than follow the expert recommendations they themselves commissioned (at a reported cost of $1,000,000), that they would instead seek further guidance from the Food Expert Advisory Committee – a committee with strong ties to the food industry – and that the Working Group was to be disbanded. This led one member of the original working group to state,
“What’s the government doing? They got the group of experts and industry people together and spent three years putting together a strategy. Now they’re trying to find some other people to give them a different strategy? It just doesn’t make any sense.”
No it doesn’t. And it also costs us a great deal of money.
Next: Food Industry’s Liberal Salting Increases Health Costs
Photo credits: Thinkstock
Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may
not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.