‘Finalise trans-fat control law soon’

PROGGA, an association for research and advocacy, has called upon the government to finalise the trans-fat control law soon for building “a safer and healthier” Bangladesh.

They made the call on Wednesday marking the World Health Day. ‘Building a fairer, healthier world for everyone’ was the theme of the day, this year.

The government has drafted the regulation titled, “Limiting Trans Fatty Acid in Food Products Regulations, 2021”. It is available on the website of Bangladesh Food Safety Authority (http://www.bfsa.gov.bd) for public opinion.

The maximum limit of trans-fat in fats, oils, and foods has been set below 2% in the regulations to safeguard public health.  The World Health Organization has called on all member countries to regulate trans-fat within 2023.

The prime source of trans-fat in food is partially hydrogenated oil or PHO, which is popularly known as dalda or bonospoti-ghee in Bangladesh.

It is most commonly used in bakery items, processed foods and deep fried snacks as well as in food preparation by hotels, restaurants and street food vendors.

Intake of excessive trans-fat is associated with increased risks of heart diseases, deaths from heart diseases, dementia, and cognitive impairment.

The 2020 report by WHO estimates that Bangladesh ranks among the 15 countries with the highest burden of TFA-induced deaths from heart diseases.