Tackling trans fat: WHO awards top 5 countries for elimination

The World Health Organization​ (WHO) is partnering with not-for-profit organisation, Resolve to Save Lives​, to support the development and implementation of the REPLACE​ action package, an initiative providing counties with a framework for eliminating industrially produced trans fat from their national food supplies.

In recognition of their progress in this endeavour, Denmark, Lithuania, Poland, Saudi Arabia, and Thailand have been awarded certificates validating their achievements. Figures released by the WHO show strong results from these countries during the first five years of the REPLACE initiative, noting that they demonstrated best practice policy for the elimination of industrially produced trans-fatty acids (iTFA).

“WHO determined the validation awards were a great way to demonstrate the progress we’ve made toward global trans fat elimination. Since the launch of the REPLACE initiative, half the world’s population is protected from this toxic chemical in their foods.” Dr. Renu Garg, Senior Vice President, Cardiovascular Health at Resolve to Save Lives, told FoodNavigator.

“We wanted to recognise that trans fat elimination begins with policy passage, but it doesn’t end there—successfully implementing a trans fat elimination policy requires ongoing commitment, but as these countries have shown, it can be done.”

What are trans fats and why does the WHO want to remove them from national food supplies?

Trans-fatty acids (TFA) are semisolid to solid fats that occur in two forms. The first form is industrially produced and the second is naturally occurring.