Monday, August 30, 2010

Mmmmm. Salty...

Leg-Iron points to the deliciously-named WASH—World Action on Salt and Health—whose aims are as follows:
World Action On Salt and Health (WASH) was established in 2005 and is a global group with the mission to improve the health of populations throughout the world by achieving a gradual reduction in salt intake. WASH will encourage multi-national food companies to reduce salt in their products and will work with Governments in different countries highlighting the need for a population salt reduction strategy. The overall aim is to bring about a reduction in salt intake throughout the world by reducing the amount of salt in processed foods as well as salt added to cooking, and at the table.

Yes, it's another bunch of interfering busybodies who seem utterly incapable of keeping their fucking noses out of other people's business. Their UK arm is called—without any irony, apparently—CASH, or Consensus Action on Salt and Health.

Inevitably, CASH is a fake charity—11.2% of its income [PDF] came from the taxpayer in the form of a grant from the Food Standards Agency.
Voluntary income
Birds Eye: £1,000
British Heart Foundation: £2,500
Food Standards Agency: £23,500
Heart Research UK: £10,000
McCain Foods (GB) Ltd: £1,000
Marks and Spencer: £1,200
Nissan UK Ltd: £168,000
Walkers Snacks Ltd: £1,000
Total: £208,200

As for the other donors... Well, we all know how this works, don't we? It's extortion with menaces, basically. The only reason that the amounts are so small, at present, is because the organisation is pretty small. As they grow in size, so will the menaces and thus the "donations". (Although, I must confess, that I haven't a clue why Nissan gave so much.)

Salt—sodium chloride (NaCl)—is pretty vital to humans. It is crucial in regulating our cells' osmotic potential (thus keeping them at the correct pressure) and it is also used (alongside potassium chloride) for generating the electrical currents in our nervous system (through action potential). As with a good many things, too much can cause salt poisoning—but, as Leg-Iron points out—too little will kill you.
In a recent New Scientist article, one of their drones derided all salt deniers as being in the pay of the salt industry. No imagination, these Righteous. They even struggle to come up with different names for their fake charities. Their methods are always exactly the same.

Their only aim in this case is the eradication of salt from the diet, which will kill even more people than the NHS have managed. Oh, it doesn't matter to them. It's not about health. None of it ever was. It's about getting people to do as they are told. Even if it kills them.

Indeed. Further, the problem is that there is simply no need for organisations like WASH (or the hilariously-named CASH): the body is very good at excreting substances that might harm it or for which it has no need (apart from certain Heavy Metals, which are poisonous through accretion). Salt is mainly excreted in urine or, to a greater extent, in sweat.

And, via The Englishman, there is (to be charitable) very little evidence that excess salt (rather than suicidal doses of it) causes any damage at all.
In fact, while there have been more than 17,000 studies published on salt and blood pressure since 1966, even following populations for decades, none has shown notable health benefits for the general population with low-sodium diets. According to Dr. David Klurfeld, Ph.D., professor and chairman of the Department of Nutrition and Food Science at Wayne State University, editor-in-chief of the Journal of the American College of Nutrition, “the better controlled studies fail to show a significant benefit on blood pressure for large groups with sodium restriction.”

So, might I suggest that WASH, CASH and all of the other wastes of time and money shut the fuck up?

3 comments:

Ian E said...

Indeed, the salt scam is one of the most extraordinary health scams - based on little other than old wives' tales and pushed primarily by Lefties who understand nothing about science but everything about controlling others! The knavery over cholesterol is almost as bad.

Chalcedon said...

Remind me again how nerves work. Ah, yes, using sodium and potassium ion channels.

Fascist Hippy said...

Where do they get these ideas and the people to implement them? FFS why don't they all just go away and die.