Trans Fats. On January 13, numerous non-governmental organizations specializing in health issues, such as the Non-Communicable Disease Alliance (NCDA), called on the food industry to “protect the cardiovascular health of consumers” by eliminating artificial trans-fats in all its products by 2023. This recommendation is in line with the deadline set by the World Health Organization (WHO) to cease using this component in food products. These civil entities warned that they will promote actions to denounce industries that do not comply with this call in the medium term.
The civil organizations asked the companies to commit to reformulating products containing artificial trans fats, which are estimated to be the cause of more than 500,000 deaths from heart disease each year. At the same time, 13 of the 40 companies indicated had already been contacted by these civil society organizations in May 2019 and, since they did not respond to this call, the organizations announced that they are planning public action against firms failing to respond twice.
The organizations also announced they will test foods in markets around the world to measure trans fat content and share the results with policy makers and the general public. The letter sent to the industry also states that artificial trans fats are completely replaceable by healthier oils and fats, without changing the taste of the food.
Many of the major food producers have committed to eliminating trans fats in their global product lines, as is the case with the International Food and Beverage Alliance (IFBA), which in 2019 agreed to begin this process under the guidelines established by the WHO in its REPLACE guide. International civil society believes that it is possible to eliminate artificial trans fats before the end of 2023 and is promoting the adoption of the WHO guide to achieve this goal. To this end, they will continue to promote research and denunce those entities failing to comply with these requirements.