Wednesday, November 13, 2002

I Smell a Lawsuit - The American Public Health Association is recommending that restaurants and food companies use 50% less salt in processed foods and restaurant meals, a change that the group says could save 150,000 lives a year from strokes and other heart-related ailments. Each year, nearly one million Americans die from heart disease or stroke, which would make salt one of the leading causes of premature death in the US. If this happens to be true, then expect a wave of lawsuits to hit the Morton Salt Company, Chili's, Hot Pockets and any other food businesses that are part of the Vast Salt Shaker Conspiracy.

``Americans are consuming an ever-increasing amount of processed foods high in sodium at home, at work, at school and in restaurants,'' said Dr. Stephen Havas, the lead author of the new policy. ``The excess sodium in these foods is unnecessary and leads to a large, preventable toll of hypertension, premature death and disability.''

The key word here is "preventable", a word that draws trial lawyers like dog shit attracts flies. If they can sue manufacturers of cigarettes, fatty foods, guns and the Ford Pinto, then expect a class action suit before the Bush administration begins the process of tort reform. I say, take the APHA's advice with a grain of salt (figuratively speaking, of course).


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