Trans Fat :: Heart Stroke Foundation & Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health urge federal government to act on trans fats

The Heart and Stroke Foundation (HSF) joined Toronto Public Health to release two new reports and urge the federal government to eliminate deadly processed trans fats in our food supply.

The report by Toronto?s Medical Officer of Health outlines actions the city can take to reduce trans fat, and the Heart and Stroke Foundation report surveys trans fats in popular Canadian foods.

?We?re pleased that the Medical Officer of Health for Canada?s largest city has joined us in calling on the federal government to take action on an important heart health issue,? said Sally Brown, CEO of the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada. Ms Brown co-chaired the national Trans Fat Task Force, comprised of scientists, health experts and the food and restaurant industries, which submitted a consensus report to the Minister of Health nearly one year ago.

?Trans fat are not a choice, they?re a killer,? said Brown. The Heart and Stroke Foundation estimates that consumption of trans fats could account for 3,000 to 5,000 Canadian deaths annually from heart disease.

?We have studied the Task Force?s report, and we urge the federal government to implement its recommendations as soon as possible,? said Dr. David McKeown, Toronto Medical Officer of Health. ?In the interim, we will work with various city-run facilities such as childcare centres and cafeterias, as well as school boards, to request that they voluntarily reduce trans fats in foods prepared, served, and sold on site.?

Other cities are also concerned about trans fat. Last week, the Canadian Restaurant and Foodservices Association (CRFA) issued a press release urging the City of Calgary not to introduce their own regulations but to join in the push for implementation of the Task Force?s national approach, an approach that would put all businesses ? restaurants and food retailers ? on a level playing field.

The CRFA release also noted that adoption of the task force report by government will send a strong signal to oilseed growers and processors to increase production of existing healthier trans fat alternatives such as sunflower, corn, soybean and canola oil.

?Our survey shows that while many restaurants and food manufacturers and retailers are already demonstrating leadership and making good progress, which we salute, there are still dangerous amounts of trans in many of our foods, including foods that are consumed by children.?

Leave a Comment