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Food: Trans Fats

Volume 716: debated on Wednesday 27 January 2010


Asked by

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they will introduce measures to eradicate artificial trans-fatty acids from the British diet, as recommended by the Faculty of Public Health and the Royal Society for Public Health. [HL1365]

The Government note the reports by the Faculty of Public Health and the Royal Society for Public Health regarding the banning of artificial trans fats from foods.

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) carried out a comprehensive review of the health impacts of trans fats in 2007, and reported that voluntary action taken by the food industry to reduce the levels of trans fats in foods in the United Kingdom has been successful in achieving the reduction in dietary intakes to 1 per cent of food energy. The Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition (SACN) recommends that trans fats should contribute no more than 2 per cent. of food energy. Given this, the Government believe that further action including legislation would be unlikely to deliver any additional health benefit. The FSA continues to monitor the intakes of trans fats.

The FSA is currently focussing effort on reducing intakes of saturated fat where there is clear evidence that the UK population is consuming more than public health recommendations, which increases the risk of coronary heart disease.