Canada's provincial health ministers are ordering up mandatory sodium limits for packaged and prepared foods if voluntary measures don't shake out as hoped -- and are urging Ottawa to adopt the new targets.
A few months after a Health Canada working group rejected legislative regulations forcing food companies and restaurants to cut salt levels
, provincial and territorial health ministers meeting in St. John's, N.L., said mandatory sodium limits are necessary if voluntary reductions don't produce results.
Alberta Health Minister Gene Zwozdesky told the Herald the provinces have agreed to support a new federal initiative that would see Ottawa set and monitor voluntary sodium limits, a move he hopes will be completed within the next year or so.
During that time of monitoring the voluntary targets, the provinces want the federal government to co-ordinate with them on mandatory regulations and associated timelines forcing manufacturers and restaurants -- if necessary -- to cut the sodium levels in packaged and prepared foods, he said.
"It's incumbent upon all of us to work with the federal government toward some type of (mandatory) regulations that might have to follow . . . if the voluntary approach doesn't work," Zwozdesky said Monday.