Comment: Reduction of Sodium in foodstuffs: Regulations

Call for comments opened 08 April 2013 Share this page:


The Minister of Health intends, under section 15(1) of the Foodstuffs, Cosmetics and Disinfectants Act, 1972 to make regulations. Interested persons are invited to submit any substantiated comments on the proposed regulations

Comments can be emailed to Prof Melvyn Freeman at by no later than Thursday, 11 October 2012

Enquiries can be directed to Prof Melvyn Freeman on tel (012) 395 8020

Below is an article on the subject by Cape Argus' Health Writer, Sipokazi Fokazi

Reducing salt content in food will help save lives
The proposed legislation to cut salt content in SA food products will not only have economic benefits for the country but it will save lives and cut the number of sufferers of cardio vascular diseases, a study has suggested.

In a report to be published in the SA Medical Journal next month, researchers from Wits Scholl of Public Health and the Chronic Disease Initiative in Africa (CDIA) say the move to regulate the industry could prevent up to 7000 deaths and 4000 strokes per year.

In a systematic review of existing studies entitled The impact of reducing sodium content in high salt food on cardiovascular diseases in SA, researchers suggest that just by reducing the amount of salt in bread by 50percent, and in other foods such as cereals and margarine, salt intake would be reduced by 0.85g per day.

Professor Krisela Steyn from UCT, a co-author of the study, said the research showed that bread remains the biggest contributor to salt intake in SA. She said the proposed legislation to reduce salt content by half was an important step as bread contributed about 40vpercent of South African's salt intake. She said the latest research also showed that just 4 slices of bread with margarine contained half of the 5g daily recommendation of salt.

According to the regulations, foods that would have their salt content reduced in the next four years include bread, butter, milk, snacks, breakfast cereals and processed meats.