EU moves closer to long-awaited limit to heart-clogging trans fat
BEUC NEWS - 07.12.2018
Industrially-produced trans fats1, which can be found in pizza, cookies or waffles, are proven to increase the level of ‘bad’ cholesterol.2 Currently, there are no mandatory limits for these harmful fats across the EU. But the situation is set to improve.
Today, the European Commission’s plan to slash the levels of trans fatty acids has moved one step closer with the support from Member States representatives.3 BEUC applauds the new limit of 2g of trans fats per 100g of fat, that it has urged for years.
However, the consumer group regrets that businesses get a transition period until April 2021 to adapt to the new rules. National limits have already existed for over 15 years in some countries with proven effects and little disruption to industry.
The draft measure will now be sent to the European Parliament and Council for scrutiny for a period of 3 months.
Although average levels of industrial trans fats in foods may have reduced in general, testing by our member organisations, national consumer groups, has shown that levels of trans fats can often remain high in some products. This is especially the case in Eastern European countries.
Testing carried out in 2013 by BEUC's Czech member dTest on margarines for example found that over half of the products tested contained more than 2g of trans fat per 100g of fat, with two products containing over 20g of trans fat per 100g of fat.4
1 Industrial trans fats are a type of unsaturated fat which has been used in industrial food production for many decades. They often found in popular processed foods such as biscuits, cakes or pizzas. See our factsheet.
2 Eliminating Trans Fats in Europe, A Policy Brief, WHO, 2015.
3 The national experts sit in the Standing Committee for plants, animals, food and feed.
4 Testing carried out in 2013 by our Czech member dTest on margarines for example found that over half of the products tested contained more than 2g of trans fat per 100g of fat, with 2 products containing over 20g of trans fat per 100g of fat. Jedlé nejedlé tuky, D Test, November 2013 <www.dtest.cz>