The World Health Organization (WHO) has announced plans to eliminate industrially produced trans-fatty acids from the global food supply. The organisation estimates that trans-fat intake leads to more than 500,000 deaths from cardiovascular disease annually and says eliminating trans-fats is key to protecting health and saving lives.
Several high-income countries have already virtually eliminated industrially-produced trans-fats through legally imposed limits on the amount that can be contained in packaged food; however, the WHO says more action is needed, particularly in low and middle-income countries.
The WHO has published a step-by-step guide for the elimination of industrially-produced trans-fatty acids called REPLACE which sets out six strategic actions to ensure the "prompt, complete, and sustained elimination" of industrially-produced trans fats from the food supply. These include promoting the replacement of industrially-produced trans fats with healthier fats and oils.
The elimination of industrially-produced trans fats from the global food supply has been identified as one of the key targets of WHO’s strategic plan, the draft 13th General Programme of Work (GPW13) which will guide the work of the WHO in 2019-2023. The GPW13 will be discussed at the 71st World Health Assembly in Geneva this week.