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Chilean Lawmakers Propose Bill Banning Salt Shakers in Restaurants

By: PanAm Post Staff - Jul 28, 2014, 4:24 pm

EspañolSalt shakers may soon disappear from the tables of Chilean restaurants. On Saturday, Deputy Gabriel Silber, a conservative Christian Democrat, and Deputy Daniel Farcas, from the ruling Party for Democracy, announced they will introduce a bill that will ban salt shakers in restaurants. The announcement comes after a back and forth debate regarding the merits of the bill.

“The goal of this bill is to change Chileans’ habits and improve their health. In order to do that, we don’t want salt shakers at the table in restaurants. If someone wants to add salt to his food, he will now have to request it from the waiter,” explained Silber. He believes that people salt their foods in a “mechanical and generally unnecessary way” and often do not even taste their food before salting it.

“We need to take into account that, according to statistics, salt consumption has increased by 50 percent in the last four decades in our country. Chileans now consume between 12 and 15 grams of salt each day, which is three times the amount recommended by the World Health Organization,” added Silber.

Deputy Farcas mentioned that the bill is designed to “change Chileans’ habits, as it has been done with the compulsory use of seat belts, health kiosks in schools, and restrictions on the use of tobacco and alcoholic drinks, among others.” He cited Argentina, Uruguay, and Mexico as countries that already enforce these sorts of regulations. “Excessive salt consumption is one of the main causes of death in Chile; 1 out of 8 deaths can be attributed to this factor.”

The announcement of the legislation sparked a series of memes across social networks online, most of them mocking the bill.

The deputies expect to meet this week with Health Minister Helia Molina to discuss the bill, which has already gained support from the president of the Nutritionists Association of Chile, Samuel Durán, among others.

Source: El Mercurio.