OTTAWA — Canada’s ban on partially hydrogenated oils, the largest source of industrially produced trans fats in foods, went into effect Sept. 17, according to Ottawa-based Health Canada. It now is illegal for manufacturers to add phos to foods sold in Canada, which includes Canadian and imported foods as well as food prepared in all food service establishments.
During a two-year phase-in period, products containing phos still may be sold in Canada if they were manufactured before Sept. 17.
Trans fats raise “bad” cholesterol levels (low-density lipoprotein) in the blood and reduce “good” cholesterol levels (high-density lipoprotein). Trans fats are linked to heart disease, which resulted in about 50,000 deaths in Canada in 2012. Replacing phos in food with unsaturated fatty acids such as canola oil decreases the risk of heart disease, according to Health Canada.
“As Minister of Health, I am very concerned with the rise in heart disease, which is one of the leading causes of death in Canada,” said Ginette Petitpas Taylor, Canada’s Minister of Health. “Health Canada’s ban on partially hydrogenated oils in the food supply is part of the government of Canada’s action to help protect Canadians from diet-related chronic disease.”
A ban on phos in the United States went into effect June 18 after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in June 2015 determined there is no longer a consensus among qualified experts that phos are Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS) for use in human food.