Major players sign up to trans fat phase-out

Thursday, 19 May, 2016

Eleven of the world’s largest food and beverage companies have pledged to phase out industrially produced trans fat by the end of 2018.

Progressing commitments first made to the World Health Organization in 2008, members of the International Food & Beverage Alliance (IFBA) have agreed on a common global objective to reduce trans fatty acids (TFAs) in their products to nutritionally insignificant levels (less than 1 g of trans fat/100 g of product) worldwide by the end of 2018 at the latest.

IFBA members have been voluntarily reformulating their products to remove partially hydrogenated oils — the major source of trans fat in processed foods — and increase the use of healthier fats, such as mono- or polyunsaturated fatty acids. To help consumers make informed dietary choices, IFBA members have also been listing trans fat content on nutrition labels.

The World Health Organization’s Global Action Plan for the Prevention and Control of Noncommunicable Diseases, 2013 - 2020, calls on member states to implement policies to replace industrially produced TFAs with unsaturated fats.

Commenting on the new commitment, Rocco Renaldi, IFBA secretary-general, said, “Reducing the intake of industrial trans fats to nutritionally insignificant levels has been identified as a priority in public health nutrition. The commitment by IFBA member companies to achieve this globally over the next two and one-half years supports this objective. We stand ready to support the broader industry to achieve the same and to work to define effective measures to ensure a level playing field in this area.”

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