Food, beverage companies commit to WHO trans fat elimination goal

Ekpedeme Umoh

Ekpedeme Umoh

The International Food and Beverage Alliance (IFBA) has committed to the WHO initiative to target and eliminate industrially produced trans fat from the global food supply by 2023.

It is noted that trans fat intake is responsible for over 500,000 deaths from coronary heart disease each year globally.

The Director General of WHO, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus in a meeting with the representatives of IFBA and other chief executive officers from several of the 12 companies comprising the alliance, on May 2, 2019 discussed the need to take immediate action in eliminating industrial trans fats, and reduce salt, sugar and saturated fats in processed foods.

The meeting also stressed the value of regulatory action on labelling, marketing and called industry to full adherence to the WHO Code of marketing of Breast Milk Substitutes.

Of particular note was the decision by IFBA members to ensure that the amount of industrial trans fat (iTFA) in their products does not exceed 2 g of iTFA per 100 g fat/oil globally by 2023. This is in line with the WHO’s objective and recommendations of its REPLACE action package, which was developed and launched in 2018.

“The commitment made by IFBA is in line with WHO’s target to eliminate industrial trans fat from the global food supply by 2023,” Dr Tedros said. “WHO will be monitoring the next steps to be taken by companies to help ensure the commitment is realized.”

“Eliminating industrially-produced trans fat is one of the simplest and most effective ways to save lives and create a healthier food supply,” added Dr Tedros.

In line with the REPLACE initiative, WHO has called on all food producers and oil and fat manufacturers, not only IFBA members, to commit to elimination of industrial trans fat from the global food supply.

 

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