June 12, 2017

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Health Canada Proposes Banning PHOs in Foods: Partially Hydrogenated Oils

  • Health Canada announced on April 7, 2017, that it intends to implement a prohibition on the use of partially hydrogenated oils (PHOs) in food by adding PHOs to Part One of the List of Contaminants and Other Adulterating Substances in Foods. The announcement includes a summary of the comments received, along with the Health Canada’s responses, during a pre-consultation on a proposal to prohibit the use of PHOs in foods that was announced in November 2016 in connection with Canada’s Healthy Eating Strategy.  (For more information on the pre-consultation and Healthy Eating Strategy, see our November 16, 2017 entry.)

  • Health Canada defines PHOs as “fats and oils that: a) have been hydrogenated, but not to complete or near complete saturation, and b) have an iodine value (IV) greater than 4.” The proposal includes examples of PHOs excluded from the ban, such as ingredients that contain only naturally occurring trans fats, and ingredients or foods containing trans fats that have been introduced inadvertently due to high temperature processing.

  • Health Canada is proposing to add PHOs to the List of Contaminants and Other Adulterating Substances in Foods 12 months after the prohibition is published in a Notice of Modification (NOM) on its website. Comments are due by June 21, 2017.

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