Health Canada has put forward a proposal to ban the use of partially hydrogenated oils, which currently represent the main source of industrially produced trans fats in the food supply. Consumption of these trans fats has been associated with an increased risk of heart disease.
According to a news release issued by Health Canada, Canadians were one of the world’s top consumers of trans fats in the 1990s, however trans fats consumption has since been reduced. Still, the government says that further measures should be taken to remove these partially hydrogenated oils from foods, due to their negative effect on human health.
Health Canada will be seeking comment on this proposed regulation until June 21, 2017. Once the ban on partially hydrogenated oils is finalized, it would likely go into effect sometime in 2018.
“Through the Healthy Eating Strategy, our government is working to make the healthier choice the easier choice,” said The Honourable Jane Philpott, Minister of Health. “By prohibiting partially hydrogenated oils, we are removing the largest source of industrial trans fats from Canada’s food supply and helping reduce the risk of heart disease.”
The Government of Canada has been slowly building up to this move, having previously required food manufacturers to include nutrition information on trans fats on their product labels. In addition, Health Canada also established voluntary maximums for trans fats in processed foods in an effort to limit their consumption by Canadians.
Trans fats have been shown to negatively impact the levels of cholesterol in the blood, simultaneously raising so-called “bad” low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, and lowering the “good” high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol. In 2012, approximately 50,000 people died as a result of heart disease, making it one of the most significant causes of death in the country.
Removing partially hydrogenated oils from food sold and consumed in Canada is part of the Healthy Eating strategy. The proposed regulation would also help Canada achieve the World Health Organization’s (WHO) target that less than one percent of a person’s total energy intake come from trans fats.Health Canada