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World Health Organization Launches Effort to Eliminate Artificial Trans Fat Globally

Statement of CSPI President Dr. Peter G. Lurie

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It’s time to take partially hydrogenated oil out of the recipe books and consign it, at long last, to the history books.

Partially hydrogenated oil, the source of the artificial trans fat, is now vanishingly rare in the United States, and the American food industry will easily be able to comply with the looming June 18 deadline set by the Food and Drug Administration for the industry to eliminate it.

Around the world, however, it’s a different story.  That’s why we are glad that the World Health Organization is launching an ambitious effort to phase out artificial trans fat across the globe.  Still widely used in India, Russia, Africa, the Middle East, and elsewhere, partially hydrogenated oil is a potent contributor to cardiovascular disease and is exactly the kind of low-hanging fruit the WHO and governments around the world should be targeting in their public health efforts.  WHO’s efforts also underline the potential impact of multilateral organizations.

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Contact Jeff Cronin (jcronin[at]cspinet.org) or Ariana Stone (astone[at]cspinet.org).