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MEPs call for EU limit on industrial trans fats in food

October 27, 2016
Food & Drink

The EU should place mandatory limits on industrially-produced trans-fatty acids (TFA) which may increase the risk of cardiovascular disease, infertility, Alzheimer’s, diabetes and obesity for consumers, says a resolution voted on Wednesday. TFA intake is mostly linked to consumption of industrially produced, partially hydrogenated oils.

MEPs mention the fact that, according to the European Commission, only one in three consumers in the EU knows about TFAs which shows that labelling measures are not enough. The Commission should therefore propose an EU legal limit on the industrial TFA content of all foods as soon as possible, and preferably within two years, say MEPs.

MEPs say that there is evidence that Denmark’s introduction of legal limits for industrial TFAs, which brought in a national limit of 2% on trans fats in oils and fats in 2003, was successful, significantly reducing deaths caused by cardiovascular disease.

TFAs tend to be used in cheaper foods, which means that people on lower incomes are most exposed to foodstuffs with a higher TFA content. This in turn increases the potential for widening health inequalities, MEPs say.

The resolution was passed by 586 votes to 19, with 38 abstentions.

Source: European Parliament

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