Canada’s ban on trans fats comes into effect today. It is now illegal for manufacturers to add partially hydrogenated oils, commonly known as trans fats, to foods sold in Canada. Federal Health Minister Ginette Petitpas Taylor talks with reporters after addressing the Canadian Public Health Association’s annual Public Health conference in Montreal on Thursday, May 31, 2018. (Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press)

Canada bans use of trans fats in food products

Trans fats are know to cause heart disease

Canada’s ban on the main source of artificial trans fats came into effect Monday, making it illegal for manufacturers to use the additive in any food made or imported into the country, as well as in any meals prepared in restaurants.

The ban takes aim at partially hydrogenated oils, or PHOs, which are the main source of industrially produced trans fats in all foods sold in Canada. The new regulation applies only to PHOs, not naturally occurring trans fats, which can be found in some animal-based foods such as milk, cheese, beef and lamb.

Trans fats have been used for the last century to add taste and texture to food as a replacement for butter. They also extend the shelf life of many foods, including commercial baked goods like cookies, pastries, donuts and muffins, snack foods and fried foods.

But they are known to increase levels of “bad” cholesterol, raising the risk of heart disease.

The head of the Heart and Stroke Foundation, an organization that has long pushed for the removal of trans fats, said he is thrilled to finally see the ban implemented.

“This important and final step will eliminate these heart-clogging fats from our food supply, benefiting the health of all people in Canada by reducing the number of heart attacks and saving lives,” Yves Savoie said in a statement.

READ MORE: Make phys. ed. a priority to avoid ‘embarrassing’ gym classes: experts

Heart disease is one of the leading causes of death, killing tens of thousands of Canadians each year. Replacing trans fats in foods with unsaturated fatty acids, such as canola oil, decreases the risk of heart disease.

The federal government first unveiled the trans fat ban last year, but gave the food industry until now to adapt to the changes.

Any products containing trans fats can be sold for the next two years as long as they were manufactured prior to Monday, under the Canadian Food Inspection Agency’s enforcement strategy.

Ottawa obesity expert Dr. Yoni Freedhoff, who has been railing against artificial trans fats in Canada’s food supply for about two decades, is glad to see the legislated removal of the “deadly toxin,” but wonders why it took so long to enact.

The Trans Fat Task Force first recommended to the federal government in 2005 that the ingredient should be reduced in foods eaten by Canadians.

While Freedhoff believes the amount of products containing trans fats remaining on grocery store shelves will be relatively small, consumers should look at the ingredient list for the words “partially hydrogenated,” even if a product’s label says “trans fat-free” or “zero trans fats.”

That’s because under labelling laws, a product containing 0.2 grams of a partially hydrogenated oil can be called trans fat-free, he said Monday from Ottawa.

“So if it says partially hydrogenated, even if it says trans fats zero, it doesn’t mean that there are zero trans fats.”

Sheryl Ubelacker, The Canadian Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Board of Education hires independent consultant to review SD82 reassignments

Review will not change recent decisions but will gather input, says board chair

Prince Rupert marine business adds second catamaran to its fleet

100-passenger Aurora was launched this year for the Rio Tinto Kemano tunnel project

Indigenous voices finally heard with final MMIWG report, says Northwest B.C. advocate

The report contains more than 200 recommendations to multiple levels of government

Terrace-area gold project shows strong promise

Juggernaut Exploration hopes this year’s drilling will follow last year’s exceptional program

New protocol will better assist victims of sexual assault

Victims of sexual assault are set to benefit from the completion of… Continue reading

PHOTOS: Elusive ‘ghost whale’ surfaces near Campbell River

Ecotourism operator captures images of the rare white orca

Victoria mom describes finding son ‘gone’ on first day of coroners inquest into overdose death

Resulting recommendations could change handling of youth records amidst the overdose crisis

Dash-cam video in trial of accused cop killer shows man with a gun

Footage is shown at trial of Oscar Arfmann, charged with killing Const. John Davidson of Abbotsford

Suicide confirmed in case of B.C. father who’d been missing for months

2018 disappearance sparked massive search for Ben Kilmer

Eight U.S. senators write to John Horgan over B.C. mining pollution

The dispute stems from Teck Resources’ coal mines in B.C.’s Elk Valley

Threats charge against Surrey’s Jaspal Atwal stayed

Atwal, 64, was at centre of controversy in 2018 over his attendance at prime minister’s reception in India

Anti-vaxxer Robert F. Kennedy Jr. to speak in Surrey

He’s keynote speaker at Surrey Environment and Business Awards luncheon by Surrey Board of Trade Sept. 17

Otters devour 150 trout at Kootenay hatchery

The hatchery has lost close to 150 fish in the past several months

B.C. church’s Pride flag defaced for second time in 12 days

Delta’s Ladner United Church says it will continue to fly the flag for Pride month

Most Read