Monday, February 16, 2009

Welcome Back Sally Brown!

(Yes, I know "you're" is spelled wrong in the graphic. Too bad I'm not technical enough to fix it)

Who's Sally Brown?

She's the CEO of the Heart and Stroke Foundation.

She was also the head of Ontario's Trans-fat Task Force which back in 2006 called for a regulatory approach to the removal of trans-fats from our food supply.

Sally was a strong proponent of such an approach as evidenced by these soundbites gleaned from the press of the day,

"The problem is, without regulations, we won't get everyone on board and it's harder to get product changes. Unlike french fries, with something like doughnuts and chocolate bars, you have to take it out of the formulation which is more difficult. We needed regulations uniform across both sectors"

Sally Brown, Vancouver Sun Nov. 1st, 2006

"Trans fats are a "toxic" killer that need to be removed from the food chain as soon as possible"

"We know that the government is taking our recommendations very seriously, but we also know that they're getting some push back from industry who traditionally don't like regulatory approaches"

"Our argument is, if you don't regulate it, it'll be piecemeal"

"We also say that by regulating it, you're sending a signal to the marketplace to ... create healthier oils."

"We think we've given the government a great opportunity to implement what was a consensus report," she said. "[The food industry] supported all the recommendations, they're ready to act. Now we need the government to act."

Sally Brown, National Post Jan. 11th, 2007

"could account for between 3,000 and 5,000 Canadian deaths annually from heart disease"

"The longer we wait, the more illness and in fact death will happen, so we know we have to get it out of our food supply"

"There is no safe amount of trans consumption, but many of these foods are well past recommended limits."

Sally Brown, The Windsor Star, Jun. 5, 2007
Imagine my surprise then when in late 2007 Sally Brown rolled over and congratulated Tony Clement for giving Big Food a 2 year free pass to try to voluntarily remove trans fats from the food supply!

It lead me in multiple postings to chant, "Bring Back the Old Sally Brown"!

Well I'm happy to say, she's back!

Last week the Health Canada's Trans-Fat Monitoring Program proved the old Sally Brown right in that voluntary trans-fat reduction was piecemeal and that Big Food was doing a dismal job of doing it on their own. Excitingly, unlike every other Health Canada Trans-Fat Monitoring press release this one was not accompanied by Sally Brown's apologist stance and wait and see attitude, this one had her stating this,
"Although some companies and sectors have stepped up to the plate and done well, overall the food industry is not sufficiently reducing trans fats voluntarily.

"So our view is this data seems to be suggesting quite strongly that it's not going to happen without regulation
Welcome back Old Sally Brown!

Shame though that during these past two years of wait and see pandering to Big Food, according to the Heart and Stroke Foundation's own estimates, Health Canada's voluntary free pass lead directly to the deaths of between 4,000 and 6,000 Canadians.

[You might notice a new feature in my sidebar - it's a countdown timer to the official 2 year mark set by the then Health Minister as to when regulations will be employed if voluntary efforts fail. Anyone care to wager as to how long AFTER the countdown's finished we see a regulated effort?]