If what is happening in the US legislative bodies is any indication, the citizens have decided to move on a suicidal path after electing representatives during the recent elections most of whom are retrograde politicians and who are captives of powerful vested interests and lobbyists having no regard or sensitivity to their well being. How else one can explain the recent clearance of a gigantic spending Bill which has several anti-citizen and pro-vested interest riders harming the health of the population there. A classical example is a provision barring the American government in mandating lower salt levels and insisting on use of whole grains in school lunch programs! What a pity! Read further below to realize how far the industry lobby can go in preserving their profits at the expense of the health of the consumers they are supposed to serve.
"Health insurance companies preserved their tax breaks. Farmers and ranchers were spared having to report on pollution from manure. Tourist destinations like Las Vegas benefited from a travel promotion program. Also buried in the giant spending bill that cleared the Senate on Saturday and is headed to President Obama for his signature were provisions that prohibit the federal government from requiring less salt in school lunches and allow schools to obtain exemptions from whole-grain requirements for pasta and tortillas. The watered-down standards for school meals were a setback for the first lady, Michelle Obama, who had vowed to fight "until the bitter end" for tougher nutrition standards. But they were a victory for food companies and some local school officials, who had sought changes in regulations that are taking effect over several years. When an omnibus spending bill pops onto the floor of the House or the Senate in the waning days of a congressional session, some lawmakers invariably express surprise and outrage at special-interest provisions stuffed into the package. Representative Marcy Kaptur, Democrat of Ohio and a senior member of the House Appropriations Committee, criticized the $1.1 trillion spending measure as "a Christmas tree bill," decorated with "dangerous and unwelcome, nongermane riders." Such favors often have a long lineage. Lobbyists and lawmakers have, in many cases, been working on them for months or years. Some of this year's provisions originated as free-standing bills, languished on their own and were then revived in the spending package. Others block regulations that have been proposed, adopted and sometimes upheld in court. The School Nutrition Association, representing cafeteria directors, welcomed the bill's language on sodium and whole grains. The lower sodium standards would have been "extremely difficult to achieve," and the government needs more research before compelling schools to make such costly changes, said the association, which receives financial support from food companies. Republicans like Representative Harold Rogers of Kentucky, the committee chairman, said the riders were needed to halt wasteful spending and "overreach" by agencies that generate rules harmful to the economy."
Implication of salt in blood pressure and other diseases like CVD and kidney disorders are well documented and has been proved beyond doubt through exhaustive scientific studies. It is well known that a major causative factor for ill health in the US is the tendency of the people to eat high fat, high salt, high sugar, high meat diets and though each citizen has liberty to eat what he wants, the government cannot shirk its responsibility to prevent social break down and growth of a population morbid and zombies in their living style which can ruin the country in the long run affecting productivity and entailing huge expenditure for treating such diseases. If this is the attitude and mindset of the law makers in that country, even the God cannot help that country from committing hara-kiri!