Researchers out of Harvard University’s School of Medicine issued an utterly ridiculous recommendation this past week calling for a ‘tobacco-style’ tax on products containing salt. According to ‘preliminary’ research, they say a salt tax would lower the rates of cardiovascular disease in populations across developing countries. As reported by FoodNavigator.com,
“Presenting the findings at the World Congress of Cardiology in Dubai, lead researcher Dr. Thomas Gaziano from Harvard School of Medicine said that use of the strategies could reduce the number of deaths from cardiovascular disease (CVD) each year by 2-3 percent in these countries. Gaziano said that the preliminary data are the first findings from a new report from Harvard that will be published later this year.”
It’s amazing how a broad, and potentially detrimental, public health recommendation can arise out of ‘preliminary’ data! It’s clear that a salt tax, as well as other taxes and regulations pushed by the Food Police, should not be used in order to control consumer behavior. Furthermore, it is absurd for the Food Police to compare salt to tobacco and alcohol when there is a growing body of research showing that salt may not be the bad guy after all. An article in the LA Times pointed out the other numerous studies recently published highlighting salt’s benefits.
“A study published in the American Journal of Hypertension showed eating less salt will not prevent heart attacks, strokes or early death. On the contrary, low-sodium diets increase the likelihood of premature death. A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association concluded that lower salt intakes resulted in higher death rates. An analysis published in the American Journal of Hypertension showed individuals placed on the U.S. Dietary Guidelines-recommended salt levels experienced significant increases in cholesterol and other risk factors for diabetes and cardiovascular disease.”
And that’s not all! The Food Police and their recommendations are foolish and outdated. It’s clear that salt has been vindicated. With no consensus from the scientific community regarding salt and its effects, it is reckless to suggest that a broad, overeaching tax should be implemented. Consumers should be presented with all of the facts and then WE can decide what to eat, not the government. Public health policy should not be based on fleeting studies, but rather on solid evidence, of which this ‘preliminary’ data is not.
To hear why experts are calling this war on salt ‘one big experiment’, watch the video below.
Tell us what you think! Do you believe that preliminary data is enough to justify more government control over our food choices? Share your comments on Facebook.