A Salty Subject

Sometime back in the 1990’s I became aware of the wide spread problem of cretinism of children in India and it was stated that the cheap and simple solution to this problem, which was leaving children mentally deficient, was to add iodine to cooking salt. On hearing this, I remembered seeing ‘with added iodine’ underneath the Saxa brand name of containers of table salt so on putting two and two together, made the decision to intentionally buy only table salt containing iodine and on searching for a suitable brand discovered Cerebos Iodised Table Salt.

The brand name itself alludes to the purpose I was seeking, and a the description on the side of the container says that ‘2 grams of Cerebos Iodised Table Salt provides at least 15% of the daily Reference Intake of Iodine’. However the ingredients section panel describes the Potassium Iodate, which is the source of the added iodine, as an Anti-caking Agent and it is this panel which the eye is drawn to first and this is further bolstered elsewhere by the description of the free running quality of the product.

Last week on coming across a TV program called Trust me Im a Doctor mention was made that the population of the UK is deficient in iodine and that milk which is a source is drunk less and less nowadays. A few other sources was mentioned but no mention was made of salt and in this respect the brand that used to include it during the 50’s and 60’s no longer does. There had been times when Cerebos was not available where I shopped and would choose sea salt as an alternative but even on the Saxa brand there is no mention of iodine but hopefully there is. Once when I mistakenly bought a bag of salt and discovered no mention of being iodised it got relegated to the garage as slug salt for garden use and the thought of it not having iodine relegates it to a poison in my mind.

Thoughts about writing about the scarcity of iodine in the British diet in relation to what had been taking place in India for some days but this morning it kept nagging me to do so. The first lines were already being composed in my mind and so turned on the computer to begin writing. It was only after completion that the thought to check who now owns the Saxa brand came to mind, and although it is listed on the London Stock Exchange and is described as a UK food manufacturing company a further search reveals that Premier Foods had been bought out by an American venture Capitalist company based in Dallas Texas in 1999.

[Quote] Worth its salt: Cerebos

RHM sold its 70 percent stake in Cerebos Pacific to Suntory of Japan for £186 million in 1990.

460 people were employed at the Middlewich site, which produced Bisto, as well as salt, in 1991.
Premier Foods

It was bought by the American private equity company Hicks, Muse, Tate and Furst based in Dallas Texas in1999.[3] In 2002, it bought Nestlé’s ambient foods business.[4] It was first listed on the London Stock Exchange in 2004.[5]

The Greatham factory was closed with the loss of 180 jobs in 2001. The 18 acre site had latterly concentrated on the production of Sharwood’s sauces and chutneys and Atora suet.

RHM was acquired by Premier Foods for £1.2 billion in 2007.
Premier regards Bisto and Sharwood’s among its “power brands” as of 2014, and Saxa, Paxo and Atora among its “support brands”. Saxa, Bisto, Sharwood, Paxo and Atora all lead their respective categories in Britain.[Unquote]

Proof that American Venture Capitalist owned or still owns Premier Foods

Breakinviews from Reuters:
Money magic
5 July 2004 By Bill McIntosh

Also: A bid for a second UK company

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