Trans-fat regulation misses the mark
March 7, 2009, Victoria, B.C. – A new provincial
regulation that targets trans-fat in restaurant meals doesn’t go far enough,
says the Canadian Restaurant and Foodservices Association (CRFA).
Trans-fat must be removed from the entire food supply chain
at a national level to meet public health goals.
“We applaud the objective of the B.C. trans-fat regulation
announced today, but the process is fundamentally flawed,” says Ron Reaman,
CRFA vice president, federal. “Trans-fat reduction needs to happen at the
national level and at the source, which is food production and manufacturing.”
Canadians source 84 per cent of their meals from grocery
stores, according to market research firm NPD Group, but grocery purchases are
not covered by the B.C. regulations. Restaurant operators source most of
their ingredients and food products from the same manufacturers that supply
“The problem with these regulations is that they will force
thousands of British Columbia restaurant operators to limit trans-fat on their
menus when they have no control over the supply of trans-fat-free products,” says
Mark von Schellwitz, CRFA vice president, western Canada. “We urge the B.C.
government to join the call for national regulations.”
CRFA has been calling for the federal government to regulate
trans-fat levels to send a strong signal to food producers, processors and
manufacturers to further invest in healthy alternatives to trans-fat.
“Health Canada’s trans-fat data monitoring program shows the
restaurant sector has made significant progress in reducing or eliminating
trans-fat,” says Reaman. “We recognize that as an industry we need to do
even more to meet the targets recommended by the federal trans-fat task force, but
it’s going to take a coordinated effort by the entire food chain.”