Giant food makers pledge to slash trans fats globally

Giant food makers pledge to slash trans fats globally

Giant food makers pledge to slash trans fats globally

It estimated that every year, trans-fat intake leads to more than 500,000 deaths of people from cardiovascular diseases.

As global awareness grew on trans fats' role in cardiovascular diseases, health officials knew they had to take a stand. Partnerships formed between the agricultural and health ministries, the business and consumer sectors, and academia.The Government's final decision to adopt a mandatory approach helped the country virtually rid its food of industrially-produced trans fats by 2014.

Businesses ranging from large processed-food manufacturers to mom-and-pop restaurants and bakeries like using trans fats - usually for frying and as shortening in baked goods - because they are affordable and have a long shelf life. The CAA amendments established deadlines for industry to comply with the limits: two years to meet the 2% limit of industrially-produced trans fats in margarines and vegetable oils, and approximately five years for the 5% limit in other products. In 2013, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said partially hydrogenated oils - which contain trans fats - weren't "generally recognized as safe". Foodmakers prefer these fats because they prolong the shelf life of oils. "The UK is lagging behind countries like Denmark", said Prof Capewell. Trans fatty foods became increasingly popular beginning in the 1950s, partly because experts at the time thought they were healthier than cooking with butter or lard.

However, many countries, especially those in developing and underdeveloped areas, have not followed this trend.

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Tedros said curbing the use of trans fats would be a centrepiece of WHO's efforts to cut deaths from noncommunicable diseases by a third before 2030, which is one of the UN's Sustainable Development Goals.

"Why should our children have such an unsafe ingredient in their foods?"

At the World Health Organization news conference Monday, a representative from a leading food industry trade group said companies are working to reduce trans fats in their products. "'We welcome this action by the World Health Organization, ' said Rocco Renaldi, the group's secretary-general", McKay and Bunge continue.

"Action is needed in low- and middle-income countries, where controls of use of industrially-produced trans fats are often weaker, to ensure that the benefits are felt equally around the world", he said. "Numerous fats are in foods or oils made by local producers", Betsy McKay and Jacob Bunge write for the Wall Street Journal. The United States and Canada are set to introduce nationwide bans on partially hydrogenated oils - the main source of artificial trans fat, this year. Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said eliminating trans fats from human diets would be "a global win in the fight against cardiovascular disease".

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The agency also called on the government to put in place legislation or enact regulatory actions to eliminate industrially-produced trans-fats.

The Argentine Commission for the Elimination of Trans Fats was formed soon after. The declaration recommended mandatory labeling of trans fat content in foods, standardized across the Americas, and when possible, replacement with unsaturated fats.

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