MEPs adopt motion for a resolution on industrial trans fat in food

On the 26th of October during the plenary session of the European Parliament in Strasbourg, Members adopted the ENVI Committee motion for a resolution on transfat in processed food, calling for mandatory limits on industrially-produced trans-fatty acids (TFA) to limit their intake in Europeans and help prevent risks of cardiovascular disease, infertility, Alzheimer’s, diabetes and obesity.

Led by eight MEPs (Mrs Lynn Boylan, Mrs Daciana Octavia Sârbu, Mrs Renate Sommer, Mr Nikolay Barekov, Mrs Anneli Jäätteenmäki, Mr Martin Häusling, Mr Piernicola Pedicini, Mrs Mireille D’Ornano) the motion passed by 586 votes and was welcomed amongst the EU health advocacy organisations.

The draft motion for resolution highlights that TFAs are a priority issue for the European Parliament and stresses Members’ concerns over the public health risks posed by TFAs, while evidence has shown that limiting TFAs has the potential to drive significant health outcomes. Building on statistics from the European Commission, the motion stresses that only one in three consumers in the EU is aware of TFAs, which shows that labelling measures are not enough. In this regard, MEPs call on the European Commission to set an EU legal limit on industrial transfats, “as soon as possible” and preferably within two years. They also refer to the situation in Denmark where the introduction of a national limit of 2% on transfats in oils and fats in 2003 significantly reduced mortality rates related to cardiovascular disease.

The European Commission has started to conduct an impact assessment which should be presented in Q3 2017 with a proposal for an initiative expected by the end of 2017.

The assessment is evaluating three options:

  • Mandatory limit, which could be 2% of the total fat content of the food
  • mandatory labelling of trans fats content in the product
  • Prohibition to use partly hydrogenated oils in food

More information here.