Senator Catherine Noone has today said it is time for Ireland to “consider following the lead” of the United States when it comes to its treatment of trans fats. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) this week announced that it intends to phase out the use of trans fats in foods in the United States, by ensuring that only those who apply for an exceptional use permit will be able to add them to foods.
Speaking on the matter, Senator Noone said: “It would make sense, given Ireland is increasingly exporting value-added food products, to ensure that we are in line with the U.S. here from an export point of view. Similarly, in terms of healthy eating, it would also make complete sense to look at trying to phase out the usage of trans fats here and also labelling them explicitly on food packaging, as they have done in the U.S. for a number of years now”.
Senator Noone continued: “There are a wide variety of health complications arising from a high level of trans fats in diets. These include higher incidences of obesity and heart disease. I think we need to start getting information out to the public in relation to trans fats.
Senator Noone concluded: “Last year, a number of European countries placed substantial limits on trans fats – Denmark, Austria, Hungary, Switzerland and Norway – and these limits have seen substantive successes. According to one World Health Organisation report on the matter, there has been a substantial decrease in the intake of trans fats among all age groups in Denmark, for instance, and it is now one tenth of the level it was before the restrictions came into effect. I believe Ireland should now look to follow suit: it’s a sensible policy from a health point of view and from an export point of view”.