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Food Reformulation, Responsive Regulation, and “Regulatory Scaffolding”: Strengthening Performance of Salt Reduction Programs in Australia and the United Kingdom

Sydney Law School, University of Sydney, Camperdown, NSW 2006, Australia
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Nutrients 2015, 7(7), 5281-5308; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu7075221
Received: 17 March 2015 / Revised: 11 June 2015 / Accepted: 15 June 2015 / Published: 30 June 2015
Strategies to reduce excess salt consumption play an important role in preventing cardiovascular disease, which is the largest contributor to global mortality from non-communicable diseases. In many countries, voluntary food reformulation programs seek to reduce salt levels across selected product categories, guided by aspirational targets to be achieved progressively over time. This paper evaluates the industry-led salt reduction programs that operate in the United Kingdom and Australia. Drawing on theoretical concepts from the field of regulatory studies, we propose a step-wise or “responsive” approach that introduces regulatory “scaffolds” to progressively increase levels of government oversight and control in response to industry inaction or under-performance. Our model makes full use of the food industry’s willingness to reduce salt levels in products to meet reformulation targets, but recognizes that governments remain accountable for addressing major diet-related health risks. Creative regulatory strategies can assist governments to fulfill their public health obligations, including in circumstances where there are political barriers to direct, statutory regulation of the food industry. View Full-Text
Keywords: salt reduction; legislation; regulation; United Kingdom; Australia; food policy; non-communicable disease salt reduction; legislation; regulation; United Kingdom; Australia; food policy; non-communicable disease
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Magnusson, R.; Reeve, B. Food Reformulation, Responsive Regulation, and “Regulatory Scaffolding”: Strengthening Performance of Salt Reduction Programs in Australia and the United Kingdom. Nutrients 2015, 7, 5281-5308.

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