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FDA To ban Trans Fat, Will Canada Do The Same?

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[caption id="attachment_62525" align="aligncenter" width="200"]FDA To ban Trans Fat, Will Canada Do The Same? FDA To ban Trans Fat, Will Canada Do The Same?[/caption]

FDA works to ban trans fats

Health Critics rejoice after the plan that The Food and Drug Administration announced Thursday. They are taking the steps that could ultimately lead to the removal of all artificial trans fats from the food in the United States.

This change will require all food manufactures to use a substitution. Trans fats are often found in many products such as shortening, cake icing and microwave popcorn.

Many manufactures have already removed trans fat from their recipes, due to the increased concern for health risks. The requirement of artificial trans fats to appear, on the nutrition label in 2006, convinced even more companies to remove trans fats from their products.

The remaining companies will have to comply with the new FDA regulations. The FDA is leaving the "floor open" for remaining comments from the manufactures. They are expecting to hear comments and concerns regarding the amount of time the manufactures will need to meet compliance.

The FDA said trans fats can still be found in some processed foods, such as:

  • Crackers, cookies, cakes, frozen pies and other baked goods.
  • Microwave popcorn products.
  • Frozen pizza.
  • Vegetable shortenings and stick margarines.
  • Coffee creamers.
  • Refrigerated dough products (such as biscuits and cinnamon rolls).
  • Ready-to-use frostings.

Trans fats have been known to have many negative effects on consumer health. Trans fats can raise cholesterol. High cholesterol can increase the risk of heart disease.

"According to records we obtained, their [Health Canada's] own scientists told them they could prevent 1,000 deaths a year and save between a quarter and almost half a billion dollars a year by making regulations to get trans fat out of the food supply," Bill Jeffery, national co-ordinator for the Centre for Science in the Public Interest, said in an interview with the CBC.

"We hope that this minister will now take the science seriously."

Jeffery said it's hard to say what the implications of the U.S. proposal will be for Canadians.

"It may be that U.S. food manufacturers [who] export to Canada will just export a safer product with less trans fat in it, or maybe they'll see Canada as a market to dump their foods and maybe we'll end up with more trans fat coming across the border."

The FDA is estimating that this change in the manufacturing could save as many as 7,000 lives a single year.

Food & Consumer Products of Canada, which represents the food, beverage and consumer products industry, said it aware of the FDA proposal.

"Canada once had the highest levels of trans-fat consumption in the world," Susan Abel, the group's vice-president of safety and compliance, said in a statement to CBC News.

"Today, the majority of Canada's food supply is trans-fat-free and Canadians have access to thousands of reformulated products. In fact, according to Health Canada’s own monitoring program, 80 per cent of the pre-packaged foods have reached the voluntary target reduction goals."

"Health Canada is pleased with this progress and continues to encourage industry to reduce the trans fat levels in their foods as low as possible while not increasing saturated fats," a spokeswoman said in a statement.

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