“People who eat salt live longer. End of story,” says VP of Salt Institute after hearing that Canada’s federal anti-sodium task force was killed

“People who eat salt live longer. End of story,” says VP of Salt Institute after hearing that Canada’s federal anti-sodium task force was killed

(Image: Leonid Mamchenkov) 

Last we checked in on Ottawa’s sodium-reduction task force, its work was being handed off to an industry advisory panel stacked with pro-salt forces. Thankfully, the Globe and Mail is continuing its long-term reporting on salt in the food we eat, and the latest news is, not surprisingly, that the salty foods lobby is pretty happy with Ottawa’s latest move.

“I was shocked to hear there’s been such a change in plans,” said Bruce Van Vliet, a professor of cardiovascular and renal physiology at Memorial University who studies the relationship between sodium and high blood pressure. “Everyone was caught off guard.”

Morton Satin, vice-president of science and research at the Virginia-based Salt Institute, a lobby group, said he feels Health Canada’s decision could represent the start of a wider backlash against sodium-reduction efforts.

“I’m hoping that it does [mean there’s a backlash],” Mr. Satin said. “People who eat salt live longer. End of story.”

The Globe notes that the Salt Institute’s enthusiastic endorsement of a high-salt diet isn’t exactly echoed by other medical professionals. But we’re intrigued by the idea of a pro-salt popular backlash against salt-reduction policies. Can we expect to see a Salt Party spring up across the U.S. as they endorse limits that individuals won’t? Will Canada be the new bastion of culinary freedom and coronary disease? We can’t wait to find out.

• Salt industry smells blood in transfer of sodium-reduction file [Globe and Mail]