Health Canada Bans Trans Fats – it is now illegal for manufacturers to produce foods with partially hydrogenated oils (PHOs) in Canada
On Sept. 17, 2018, Health Canada announced a ban on the largest source of industrially produced trans fats in foods – PHOs. The ban targets both Canadian and imported foods, and all other food service establishments. The ban was proposed in 2017 to allow the industry time to prepare and adapt to this new requirement. PHOs are now added to Part 1 of Health Canada’s List of Contaminants and Other Adulterating Substances in Foods.
What was the reason for this ban?
The ban is aimed at reducing Canadians’ risk of heart disease, the leading cause of death in Canada. Trans fats increase LDL (Low-Density Lipoprotein), which is considered the “bad” cholesterol levels in the blood, a known risk factor of heart disease. Trans fats also reduce the blood levels of the “good” cholesterol HDL (High-Density Lipoprotein), which protects against heart disease.
This ban supports Canada’s Healthy Eating Strategy with a mandate to make the healthier choice easier for all Canadians.
How will this ban impact the Canadian food industry?
A two-year phase-in period will be part of the enforcement strategy conducted by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA), during which manufacturer will be allowed to sell PHO containing foods with a manufacture date prior to Sept. 17, 2018. In addition, “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, 2018).This move also reflects global efforts to eradicate industrial trans fats in foods as recommended by the World Health Organization’s public health objective to reduce risk of heart disease among the general population.
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Source: Health Canada