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

Ponoka mayor & council takes on province for recreation funding

Mayor Rick Bonnett wants school requisition for three years

Ponoka County on the hook for rubber tire shredder

Cost of large shredder may yet fall completely on county as problems arise

Ponoka council approved a cannabis retail sales bylaw

Along with retail sales, the cannabis consumption bylaw was approved

Ponoka County approves Morningside ASP, MDP and North West decision is deferred

More information on protecting existing CFOs necessary prior to North West ASP approval

Ponoka parent speaks of gratitude during Legion’s candlelight vigil

The Ponoka Legion’s special candlelight vigil at the cemetery is a reminder of past sacrifices

Rick Mercer says pot is ‘excruciatingly boring’

Comedian hopes Canadians will move onto something else once marijuana is legalized

U.S. pot firm urges Trump to deny Canadian producers ‘competitive advantage’

The challenge for U.S. firms lies in the fact that while recreational cannabis is legal in nine states and medicinal pot in 22 others, it remains illegal under federal law

How rules for inmate segregation in Canada will change under Bill C-83

Federal government proposing changes to rules around inmates in federal correctional institutions

Canada Post union issues strike notice; rotating strikes could begin Monday

Union says rotating strikes will begin if agreements aren’t reached with bargaining units

Ponoka family remembers fallen WWI soldier

A Ponoka soldier killed in action in the Great War is remembered

Annual Texas Longhorn show and sale draws local and international attention

ATLA part of a growing Canadian market for Texas Longhorn genetics

$500,000 goal well within reach for Ponoka’s Festival of Trees

Annual fundraiser just under $137,000 from attaining its long-term goal for the Ponoka hospital

Killer-rapist Paul Bernardo set for parole bid after 25 years in prison

Bernardo’s parole hearing at the Bath Institution is expected to attract numerous observers

St. Augustine Queens trip a fantastic victory in Turkey Burner home tournament

Ponoka’s Catholic school volleyball squads capture three medals

Most Read