World Health Organisation (WHO) welcomed the commitment by the International Food and Beverage Alliance (IFBA) to align with the WHO target to eliminate industrially produced trans fat from the global food supply by 2023.
Trans fat intake is responsible for over 500,000 deaths from coronary heart disease each year globally.
WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus met with IFBA representatives, including chief executive officers from several of the 12 companies comprising the alliance, on 2 May 2019 to discuss actions to take to eliminate industrial trans fats, and reduce salt, sugar and saturated fats in processed foods.
The meeting also stressed the value of regulatory action on labelling, marketing and called industry to full adherence to the WHO Code of marketing of Breast Milk Substitutes.
“The commitment made by IFBA is in line with WHO’s target to eliminate industrial trans fat from the global food supply by 2023,” Dr Tedros said. “WHO will be monitoring the next steps to be taken by companies to help ensure the commitment is realized.”
Of particular note was the decision to by IFBA members to ensure that the amount of industrial trans fat (iTFA) in their products does not exceed 2 g of iTFA per 100 g fat/oil globally by 2023. This is in line with the WHO’s objective and recommendations of its REPLACE action package, which was developed and launched in 2018.
“Eliminating industrially-produced trans fat is one of the simplest and most effective ways to save lives and create a healthier food supply,” added Dr Tedros.
In line with the REPLACE initiative, WHO has called on all food producers and oil and fat manufacturers, not only IFBA members, to commit to elimination of industrial trans fat from the global food supply.