Agency reaffirms complete ban on trans fats by July

WHO Calls for Ban on Trans Fat

WHO's program, REPLACE, identifies six steps countries can take to reduce trans fats in their food system including government legislation and NGOs working with food and oil manufacturers to help identify and replace industrial fats with healthier options.

Trans fats are linked to an estimated 500,000 deaths worldwide per year.

"It's a crisis level, and it's major front in our fight now", WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said at a news conference in Geneva on Monday.

Several rich countries have already virtually eliminated trans fats by putting limits on the amounts allowed in packaged foods.

Artificial trans-fats, or trans fatty acids, better known to many American consumers as partially hydrogenated vegetable oil, can be used in fried foods and to preserve shelf life of snack foods or baked goods.

It is also the substance commonly associated with higher levels of "Bad" cholesterol in the blood, also known as LDL cholesterol, that tends to clump up in arteries and increase the risk of developing heart disease.

The six-step guide, called REPLACE, comes after World Health Organization opened a consultation until 1 June to review draft guidelines on intake of trans-fats and saturated fats for adults and children.

But removing trans fat from processed foods won't completely eradicate the threat. What is new is the World Health Organization global initiative to tackle a non-communicable disease, said Frieden, presently the President and Chief Executive of Resolve to Save Lives (an initiative of non-profit organisation Vital Strategies), involved with implementing the World Health Organization campaign.

More news: Sports Gambling Approval Could Set Off Wave of Changes

REview: Review food sources of trans fatty acids and policy changes needed.

Countries may, however, need to legislate to force food manufacturers to change.

From July 1, no food product may utilize artificial partially hydrogenated oils, which is the main dietary source of trans-unsaturated fatty acids, the agency said in a news release. "While we can not estimate a percentage of products on store shelves that will be free of PHOs on June 19, 2018, we are confident that over the past three years, manufacturers have taken appropriate steps to reformulate products if and as necessary", an FDA spokesperson told Newsweek. In 2004, Denmark became the first country to completely outlaw trans fats, and other countries have been getting on board more recently.

In June, all products sold in the United States must be free of industrially produced trans-fats.

Assess and monitor trans fats content in the food supply.

Enforce: Ensure the proper application of policies and regulations.

"It's a change in the food environment that's likely to have a significant impact on public health and does not require significant behavior change", New York University food scientist Marion Nestle told the Times.

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