OTTAWA -- Consuming trans fats increases the risk of heart disease, one of the leading causes of death in Canada.
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Minister Petitpas Taylor is pleased to announce that Health Canada has taken the final step to ban partially hydrogenated oils (PHOs)—the main source of industrially produced trans fats—in all food sold in Canada. This includes both domestically produced and imported products and foods, as well as those that are prepared and served in restaurants and food service establishments.
"As Minister of Health, I am pleased to deliver on our Government's commitment to promote public health and make it easier for all Canadians to choose healthier foods. Eliminating the main source of industrially produced trans fat from the food supply is a major accomplishment and a strong new measure that will help to protect the health of Canadians," said The Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor, Minister of Health.
Trans fats raise "bad" (low-density lipoprotein) cholesterol and lower "good" (high-density lipoprotein) cholesterol levels in the blood. By banning PHOs, Health Canada will reduce trans fats in the Canadian food supply to the lowest level possible, which will help reduce Canadians' risk of heart disease.
Heart disease is one of the leading causes of death in Canada, resulting in approximately 50,000 deaths in 2012. Studies have shown that the risk of heart disease increases substantially with higher consumption of trans fats.
Once the ban is implemented, any food containing PHOs cannot be legally sold in Canada. The ban was finalized today through a Notice of Modification adding PHOs to the List of Contaminants and Other Adulterating Substances. The ban will come into force one year from today on September 15, 2018, to give the food industry enough time to find suitable alternatives.
"The Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada congratulates Health Canada on taking this important final step to eliminate trans fats from the Canadian food supply. Trans fats are still high in baked goods and other foods often consumed by children and other vulnerable populations. This will reduce the number of heart attacks in Canada and save lives," said Yves Savoie Chief Executive Officer, Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada.
This initiative is an important accomplishment under Canada's Healthy Eating Strategy, which aims to make the healthy food choice the easy choice. The Strategy is a component of the vision for a healthy Canada, which focuses on healthy eating, healthy living and a healthy mind.
The Healthy Eating Strategy aims to improve the availability of information on healthy eating, strengthen requirements for labelling and claims, improve the nutritional quality of foods, protect vulnerable groups, and support increased access to and availability of nutritious foods.
Health Canada's ban is consistent with global efforts to eliminate industrially produced trans fats in foods, including those taken by the United States.
SOURCE Health Canada
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