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article imageChilean Parliament to discuss banning salt shakers in restaurants

By Igor I. Solar     Aug 1, 2014 in Politics
Santiago - The Honourable House of Deputies of Chile will be discussing a bill that seeks to ban salt shakers in restaurant tables. According to two lawmakers, salt intake has increased significantly in Chile and people need to be educated about it.
Two deputies, Gabriel Silber, a Christian Democrat (PDC), and Gabriel Farcas, from the Party for Democracy (PPD), presented a bill for discussion of the National Congress of Chile designed to prohibit salt shakers in restaurant tables. The presentation of the bill was announced, then recalled, and finally confirmed by its promoters.
The two Chilean Members of Parliament argue that Chileans consume on average between 12 and 15 grams of salt per day, which is three times the amount recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO). A technical report produced by WHO and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) recommended the consumption of less than 5 grams of sodium chloride per day.
"We want to change the habit of accessing the salt without even trying the food," said Deputy Silber in an interview with Radio Bio-Bio (In Spanish).
Additionally, deputy Silber clarified that the purpose of this legislation is to prohibit the availability of the salt-shaker on the table at restaurants, but if requested by the customer, the waiter can bring it.
The bill has been widely ridiculed by the public with all sorts of sarcastic remarks and Internet memes. Although most of those commenting agree that limiting sodium consumption has health benefits for the population, the parliamentary initiative is considered trifling, ridiculous, and a waste of time for lawmakers.
Most people believe that while the discussion of highly relevant legislation concerning education, health, pensions, taxes and environmental subjects can take several years of slow processing, and sometimes never come to term, lawmakers waste their time and efforts on petty, frivolous issues.
In early July, Deputy Jorge Sabag (PDC) proposed a bill that included convictions for insults to the authorities through Internet memes. The initiative was soon heavily mocked in social networks through caustic memes and had to be withdrawn. Deputy Sabag claimed: "It was a mistake. I did not realize what my advisers had drawn."
More recently, two other deputies presented to Congress a legislative proposal seeking disclosure on the sources of contributions from private companies that finance election campaigns of members of Congress. Obviously, the initiative was transversely rejected by the majority of both ruling and opposition Members of Parliament.
More about Salt shakers, members of parliament, Chilean Congress, Lawmakers, Gabriel Silber
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