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36 Sydney L. Rev. 255 (2014)
Steering Private Regulation - A New Strategy for Reducing Population Salt Intake in Australia

handle is hein.journals/sydney36 and id is 258 raw text is: 




Steering Private Regulation?

A New Strategy for Reducing

Population Salt Intake in

Australia


Roger Magnusson* and Belinda Reevet



                                   Abstract

      Excess salt consumption represents a significant threat to health, in light of the
      established link between salt intake, blood pressure and cardiovascular disease.
      Salt reduction programs could significantly reduce death and disability by
      reducing average blood pressure across the population. In 2009, the Australian
      Department of Health established the Food and Health Dialogue, which uses
      salt reduction targets to guide voluntary product reformulation by the food
      industry. However, the Dialogue lacks many of the features of the United
      Kingdom's more successful program, and research suggests that it has failed to
      significantly improve the quality of the Australian food supply. This article
      presents a new strategy for reducing population salt intake in Australia.
      Acknowledging the political obstacles to the imposition of mandatory standards
      for salt reduction, we draw on the regulatory studies literature to develop a
      public health governance model that incorporates a broader range of regulatory
      techniques. We apply this model to the challenge of reducing population salt
      intake by, for example, setting more comprehensive targets and performance
      indicators, enhancing accountability and increasing industry participation. We
      recommend a 'responsive' regulatory approach where the food industry's
      failure to meet salt reduction targets triggers progressively more stringent forms
      of regulation. Our strategy rests on the selective introduction of 'legislative
      scaffolds' to create a more demanding salt reduction program while seeking to
      maximise industry cooperation and capacity for innovation.

      Introduction

High blood pressure is the leading risk factor for mortality worldwide, affecting
around 40 per cent of adults.1 In 2010, it accounted for 9.4 million deaths (17.8 per
cent of the global total) - ahead of tobacco, which caused 6.3 million deaths



    Professor of Health Law and Governance, Sydney Law School, University of Sydney.
    Law Fellow, O'Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law, Georgetown University Law
    Centre.
    World Health Organization ('WHO'), Global Status Report on Noncommunicable Diseases 2010
    (WHO, 2011) 22 <http://www.who.int/nnA/publications/ncd report2010/en>.

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