News article

15 April 2010

FDF response to British Medical Journal report on trans fats

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PRESS RELEASE

Responding to a report by the British Medical Journal (BMJ) claiming that banning artificial trans fats in the UK could prevent 11,000 heart attacks and 7,000 deaths a year, Barbara Gallani, FDF's Director of Food Safety and Science, says:

“We note that the BMJ report does not seem to quote any population intake levels of trans fats and are concerned that a report that does not provide such relevant information creates an unbalanced picture that could give rise to unnecessary health concerns."

"We agree that it is important to maintain a healthily balanced diet in which trans fats are consumed within the safe levels recommended by the FSA and that is why artificial trans fats have been virtually eliminated from processed foods in the UK, due to a significant focus on reformulation by UK food manufacturers. The success of this focus is reflected in new data results from the FSA's National Diet and Nutrition Survey (NDNS) which indicate that intakes are at even lower levels than shown by the previous NDNS results (now reportedly 0.8% (NDNS 2010), down from 1.0% (NDNS 2000/2001) - well below the recommended maximum TFA intake of 2% of food energy."

"As such the UK government has recently concluded that trans fats at these levels do not pose health risks to UK consumers, an opinion with which we concur. This position was also reflected in the lack of support in the Scottish Parliament for the recent proposal to ban trans fat which was overturned this week.”

More Information

FDF Press team
Cath Wilkins on cath.wilkins@fdf.org.uk or 020 7420 7132
Sarah Lovell on sarah.lovell@fdf.org.uk or 020 7420 7131
Rebecca Wilhelm rebecca.wilhelm@fdf.org.uk or 020 7420 7140

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