It is estimated that sodium over-consumption may cause up to 16, 000 deaths per year. CARP had supported the measures contained in bill C-460, believing MPs would too… It seemed like a no-brainer – it was a bill that could save lives, avoid preventable death and illnesses and potentially save our healthcare system billions of dollars in related costs.
On November 5th, 2012 – NDP Health Critic Libby Davies introduced Bill C-460 An Act respecting the implementation of the sodium reduction strategy for Canada. Bill C-460 contained measures:
- Ensuring the amount of salt in the Canadian food supply is reduced to safe levels;
- Improving nutritional labeling on pre-packaged foods;
- Protecting children from being deceived by commercial marketing for high salt foods.
CARP was Part of a Huge Coalition of Organizations Backing C-460
Ms. Davies wrote CARP members asking that they support this February. In April CARP repeated the call – urging our members to participate in the Centre for Science in the Public Interest’s petition and letter writing campaign in support of C-460.
As we reported in the last issue of CARP Action Online- by the time of the vote in Parliament, civil society was solidly behind the bill. See “MPs Vote Against Money a Life Saving Bill” for the full story. More than 60 community leaders signed a joint-statement in support of Bill C-460.
National public opinion polls commissioned by University of Toronto researchers, the federal government, and CARP consistently show that Canadians 75%-85% of Canadians want the kind of labelling and accountability measures proposed in Bill C-460 and take a dim view of voluntary sodium-reduction.
Conservative MPs all Voted “Nay” and the Bill was Defeated
The 122 MPs sticking-up for public health included the leaders of the NDP, Liberal, Bloc Quebecois, and Green parties, plus an Independent and a lone Conservative MP (Maurice Vellacott, MP, a pastor and former healthcare professional).
Today, we received a letter form Libby Davies, the bill’s original sponsor. You can download a copy of the original or read the contents of Libby’s letter to Susan Eng, CARP VP of Advocacy, below:
Libby Davies Writes she will Continue to hold the Government to Account on Health Care Issues
I’d like to thank you for your support of my Private Members Bill C-460, An Act respecting the implementation of the sodium reduction strategy for Canada.
I appreciate your support for a bill which addressed a critical public health issue in our country. Right now, we are facing an epidemic proportion of sodium-related diseases, driven by the high sodium content pre-packaged foods, which account for approximately 75% of our sodium intake. Reducing the amount of sodium in our food wil substantially decrease the incidence of cardiovascular disease events, and in turn, the death of thousands of Canadians every year.
Although Bill C-460 was recently defeated in Parliament, I will continue my work to hold the government to account on health care issues, including the regulation of salt, sugar and trans fats in pre-packaged foods.
Thank you again for your support of Bill C-460, I look forward to continuing to work together to support and improve the health of Canadians.
Libby Davies, MP Vancouver East
NDP Spokesperson for Health