MEPs call for EU limit on industrial trans fats in food

Posted on: October 28, 2016

The EU should place mandatory limits on industrially-produced trans-fatty acids (TFA), says a resolution in the European Parliament voted on Wednesday 26 October 2016. TFA intake is mostly linked to consumption of industrially produced, partially hydrogenated oils.

MEPs mention the fact that, according to the European Commission, only one in three consumers in the EU knows about TFAs which shows that labelling measures are not enough. The Commission should therefore propose an EU legal limit on the industrial TFA content of all foods as soon as possible, and preferably within two years, say MEPs.

MEPs call on the food industry to prioritise alternative solutions that comply with health and environmental standards, such as the use of improved oils, new procedures for the modification of fats or combinations of substitutes for TFAs.

MEPs say that there is evidence that Denmark’s introduction of legal limits for industrial TFAs, which brought in a national limit of 2% on trans fats in oils and fats in 2003, was successful, significantly reducing deaths caused by cardiovascular disease.

The resolution was passed by 586 votes to 19, with 38 abstentions.