Canadian ban on trans fats in force
By Canadian Pizza
By Canadian Pizza
Ottawa – Health Canada’s ban on partially hydrogenated oils (PHOs) – the largest source of industrially produced trans fats in foods – came into effect on Sept. 17.
It is now illegal for manufacturers to add PHOs to foods sold in Canada, Health Canada said in a news release. This includes Canadian and imported foods, as well as those prepared in all foodservice establishments. This ban reflects a commitment made in the mandate letter to the Minister of Health to eliminate trans fat.
Trans fats raise “bad” cholesterol levels (low-density lipoprotein) in the blood, which is a risk factor for heart disease; they also reduce the blood levels of “good” cholesterol (high-density lipoprotein), which protects against heart disease.
The ban, announced last year to give industry to time to adapt, came into effect Sept. 17 with the addition of PHOs to Part 1 of Health Canada’s List of Contaminants and Other Adulterating Substances in Foods.
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) enforcement strategy for the new requirement includes a two-year phase-in period during which products containing PHOs can continue to be sold, as long as they were manufactured before Sept. 17, 2018. The CFIA will verify that the food manufacturing industry has implemented appropriate measures to meet regulatory requirements through oversight activities such as inspections, audits and sampling.
Health Canada’s ban is consistent with international efforts to eliminate industrial trans fats in foods, the release said. Banning the use of PHOs in foods will effectively reduce trans fats in the Canadian food supply to the lowest level possible, and help achieve the World Health Organization’s public health recommendation to reduce the intake of trans fats by the majority of the population to less than one per cent of total energy intake. Achieving this public health objective is expected to lead to an overall reduction in the risk of heart disease among the general population.