World Health Organization pushes ban of margarine by 2023

The WHO Launches Plan to Eliminate Trans-Fats from Food in the World

In its latest guidelines on trans fats in food supply, the World Health Organization has advised governments, especially those in low and middle income countries, to eliminate these fats by 2023.

Promote the replacement of these fats with healthier oils.

"Trans fats are a harmful compound that can be removed easily without major cost and without any impact on the quality of the foods", Branca said.

For many years, trans fats were in baked goods of all kinds, such as burekas, doughnuts, cookies and crackers; ice cream; frostings; processed meat; nondairy coffee whiteners; commercially fried products, including those made from meats and poultry; and many other types of foods in Israel.

The United States Food and Drug Administration set a three-year compliance period in July of 2015 that said companies either had to make their products without partially hydrogenated oils or petition to be allowed to use them.

"The world is now setting its sights on today's leading killers — particularly heart disease, which kills more people than any other cause in nearly every country", said Frieden, who is president of a New-York-based philanthropy-funded project called Resolve to Save Lives. Manufacturers use them as they have a longer shelf life than other fats. In addition to increasing the risk of heart disease, they can raise the levels of bad cholesterol in the body while lowering the levels of good cholesterol.

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Trans fats are popular with manufacturers of fried, baked and snack foods because they have a long shelf life, but they are bad for consumers, increasing heart disease risk by 21 percent and deaths by 28 percent, a World Health Organization statement said.

Dr. Tom Frieden, CEO of Resolve to Save Lives, has declared that NY has become the first state in the USA that has followed the footsteps of Denmark by eliminating trans-fats a decade ago. The same year the FDA required manufacturers to list trans fat content information on food labels.

Quartz: How trans fat fell from grace to become a foodie villain (Purdy, 5/14).

Several high-income countries, such as Denmark, and cities, including NY, have virtually eliminated trans fats through legally imposed limits on the amount that can be contained in packaged food. FDA officials have not said how much progress has been made or how they will enforce their rule against food makers that don't comply.

"Trans-fat is an unnecessary toxic chemical that kills, and there's no reason people around the world should continue to be exposed", said Tom Frieden, who now leads the health initiative.

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