August 10, 2020

Volume X, Number 223

August 10, 2020

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WHO Offers Plan to Eliminate Industrially-Produced Trans Fatty Acids

  • One week after suggesting that adults and children reduce their intake of trans fatty acids to less than 1% of total energy intake (see our May 8, 2018 blog for details), the World Health Organization (WHO) released a plan aimed at eliminating industrially-produced trans fatty acids from the global food supply. The plan, REPLACE, is in the form of a step-by-step guide.

  • REPLACE consists of six steps:

    • REview dietary sources of industrially-produced trans fats and the landscape for required policy change

    • Promote the replacement of industrially-produced trans fats with healthier fats and oils

    • Legislate or enact regulatory actions to eliminate industrially-produced transfats

    • Assess and monitor trans fats content in the food supply and changes in trans fat consumption in the population

    • Create awareness of the negative health impact of trans fats among policy makers, producers, suppliers, and the public

    • Enforce compliance of policies and regulations

  • WHO estimates that trans fat leads to more than 500,000 deaths of people from cardiovascular disease each year. WHO is calling on governments to use the REPLACE action package to achieve the elimination of industrially-produced transfatty acids from the global food supply, which was identified as one of the priority targets of WHO’s strategic plan, the draft 13th General Programme of Work (GPW13). As part of the U.N.’s Sustainable Development Goals, the global community has committed to reducing premature death from noncommunicable diseases by one-third by 2030.

  • As previously reported on this blog, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued a final determination on June 16, 2015, revoking the GRAS status for partially hydrogenated oils (PHOs) based on the link between trans fats and health risks. The compliance date is June 18. FDA has in presentations indicated that recalls of products containing PHO’s will not be required where the products were introduced in interstate commerce before that date (IEG Policy – subscription required). Agency officials promise further clarification will also be provided shortly.

© 2020 Keller and Heckman LLPNational Law Review, Volume VIII, Number 135


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Keller and Heckman offers global food and drug services to its clients. Our comprehensive and extensive food and drug practice is one of the largest in the world. We promote, protect, and defend products made by the spectrum of industries regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the European Commission and Member States authorities in the European Union (EU) and similar authorities throughout the world. The products we help get to market include foods, pharmaceuticals, medical devices, veterinary products, dietary supplements, and cosmetics. In addition...