Department of Health takes action to eliminate trans fats from local food supply | New

Work has begun to eliminate trans fatty acids from the local food supply. This is part of efforts by the Ministry of Health and Welfare to reduce risk factors for non-communicable diseases, which remain prevalent across the island.

“Work is underway to increase the capacity of government laboratories to evaluate products. Two large laboratories have been equipped with equipment to test for industrially produced trans fatty acids (IP-TFAs) and relevant staff members have been trained to analyze the products according to established guidelines,” said Dr Jacquiline Bisasor, medical doctor- chief. – McKenzie.

She was speaking at the 170th Session of the Executive Committee of the Pan American Health Organization in Washington, DC, last Friday.

Noting that significant work remains to be done before the country ratifies the action plan for the elimination of industrially produced trans fatty acids, the CMO pointed out that plans are underway for the development of a policy. regulatory.

This includes a pre-regulatory assessment in the form of a national study assessing which foods are sources of PI-TFA – the findings of which have been shared with key stakeholders including the general public, the food industry , the media, academia, government agencies, policy makers and advocacy groups.

“A consultation was conducted on June 14, 2022 with key stakeholders, including representatives from the food industry, the Jamaica Manufacturers and Exporters Association, the Small Business Association, academia and the Department of Health and Tourism. Wellbeing, to discuss the evaluation of industrially produced trans-fatty acids in Jamaica, share best practices and discuss policy options for the elimination of IP-TFA for Jamaica,” the CMO added. .

The national assessment also details the amount of industrially produced trans fats in foods commonly eaten by Jamaicans. Trans fats are a leading cause of high blood pressure, heart disease, cancer and stroke.

Maria J. Book