Phasing out fat: Industry aligns with WHO standard to eliminate trans fat
The move is the most effective way to create a healthier food supply, according to WHO Director-General
08 May 2019 --- Twelve of the largest global food and beverage companies have pledged to enhance their commitment to the World Health Organization’s (WHO) goal of phasing out industrially produced trans fat (iTFAs) from the global food supply by 2023. Members of the International Food and Beverage Alliance (IFBA) have taken a further step in progressing the commitments they first made to WHO in 2008, with the adoption of an enhanced worldwide commitment to eliminate iTFAs from their products.
IFBA members had met the target of their 2016 commitment to reduce iTFAs in their products to nutritionally insignificant levels (less than one gram of fat per 100 grams of product) across 98.5 percent of their products worldwide. And now they have committed to aligning their global standard with WHO’s recommendation for a maximum iTFA threshold in food products not exceeding two grams of iTFA per 100 grams of fat or oil by 2023.
The new IFBA commitment includes McDonald’s, which was not part of the 2016 commitment.
WHO guidelines recommend a maximum one percent total energy intake from all trans fat and intake of saturated fat not exceeding 10 percent of total energy intake. In support of this, IFBA member companies will seek wherever possible to avoid the potential increases in saturated fat when reformulating products.
“Working closely with WHO, the CEOs of IFBA have made a commitment on industrially produced trans fats. This is a demonstration of effective partnerships, leveraging the authority of WHO and the scale and commitment of the private sector for tangible public health outcomes”, says Rocco Renaldi, IFBA Secretary-General.
“We hope our commitment inspires our suppliers and partners along the value chain to join us too. We will share our know-how with governments, civil society and the broader industry to ensure that the objective can be met by all food manufacturers in all countries”, he adds.
The commitment follows talks with WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus earlier this month to discuss actions to take to eliminate industrial trans fats, as well as reduce salt, sugar and saturated fats in processed foods.
“Eliminating industrially-produced trans fat is one of the simplest and most effective ways to save lives and create a healthier food supply,” says Dr. Tedros. “The commitment made by IFBA is in line with WHO’s target to eliminate industrial trans fat from the global food supply by 2023. WHO will be monitoring the next steps to be taken by companies to help ensure the commitment is realized.”
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