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Press Release: Launch of the REPLACE Report by WHO - annual progress report on global trans fat elimination


Launch of the REPLACE Report by WHO - annual progress report on global trans fat elimination

Press Release Chennai

Date: 9 September 2020

In more than 100 countries around the world, people are at risk of heart disease from industrially produced trans fat. This is because most countries still don't have policies in place to protect their citizens from the harmful effects of trans fat, which causes heart disease and death. Diets high in trans fats increase heart disease risk by 21 per cent and deaths by 28 per cent. Studies reveal that intake of trans fat results in more than 500,000 deaths from cardiovascular disease, annually. It is also considered to be a major risk factor for diabetes, obesity and various cancers.

World Health Organization (WHO)'s REPLACE trans fat strategy, a comprehensive roadmap that countries can adopt to eliminate industrially produced trans fat from food items and supplies by 2023, launched in 2018, aims to change that.

Earlier today, the WHO released the annual progress report of the REPLACE trans fat action package.

“Elimination of industrially produced TFA from food is feasible, cost-effective and life-saving. A number of countries have already taken action to ban industrially produced TFA and protect their citizens. But most countries remain unprotected from the harms of TFA. There is much more to be done to meet the goal of global elimination of industrially produced TFA from the entire global food supply in the next three years, by 2023.”, said WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

The report tracks progress of key policy outcomes and milestones across regions since the release of the last report in 2019. It further recommends that governments prioritise commitment around reformulating foods to eliminate industrially produced trans fat, support

small and medium-sized enterprises, precisely label trans fat content and establish stringent monitoring and evaluation mechanisms.

According to the report India has 4.63% of coronary heart disease burden attributable to trans fat intake. “The proposed trans fat regulation by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) is to reduce trans fat to 2% by 2022, but the draft regulation is yet to be ratified. According to the report, experiences in several countries demonstrate that statutory laws around eliminating trans fat have been more effective than voluntary approaches. Thus, it is necessary for the FSSAI to notify the regulations as early as possible”, said S. Saroja, Director-Consumer Protection, Citizen consumer and civic Action Group (CAG).

Dr. T R Senthil, Deputy Director of Public Health and Preventive Medicine, Tamil Nadu Food Safety Department, said that, “The awareness about sources and harmful effects of trans fat is still very limited in several parts of India - this includes consumers and manufacturers. Strict compliance to regulations pertaining to reducing trans fat in food manufacturing and labelling is a must in ensuring the larger vision of public health and safety.”

Through the report, WHO recommends that countries strengthen commitment and action toward eliminating industrially produced trans fats. Replacing trans fat with healthier oils and fats can only be achieved through policy and regulation, and establishing monitoring systems and creating awareness among policy-makers, industry and the public.

For more insights and information on trans fat regulation in India and Tamil Nadu, please get in touch with us.

Link to report.

About Citizen consumer and civic Action Group (CAG):

CAG, founded in 1985, is a non-profit and non-political organisation that works to empower citizens, promote transparency and accountability, and harnesses new technologies to strengthen governance.

For further information, please write to: Savitha Thirunavukkarasu: or Padmavathi S:

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