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Canada is latest to ban trans fat

Published:Wednesday | October 10, 2018 | 12:00 AM

Canada is the latest in a growing list of countries to ban industrial trans fat, and the World Health Organization (WHO) is hoping that the ingredient will be completely eliminated from the global food supply by 2023.

Denmark was the first country to mandate the restriction of trans fat in 2004, and since then, other countries have prohibited the use of the ingredient. They include Norway, Iceland, Hungary, Austria and Switzerland. New York City banned its use in restaurants in 2006 and Canada instituted a complete ban on industrial trans fat last month.

Trans fat is called unsaturated fatty acids or trans fatty acids and is produced industrially from vegetable fats for use in margarine, packaged baked goods, and for frying fast foods such as french fries. Manufacturers often use them because they have a longer shelf life.

WHO in May of this year released a step-by-step guide to eliminating industrially produced trans fat and noted that its elimination would represent a major victory in the global fight against cardiovascular disease. The organisation estimates that every year, more than 500,000 die from cardiovascular disease caused by trans fat.

Nadine Wilson-Harris