This site is intended for health professionals only

Ban on trans fats "not required"

A ban on trans fats in food is unnecessary in the UK because people are not consuming a dangerous amount, the food watchdog has said.

The Food Standards Agency's (FSA) Board has ruled out compulsory restrictions after reviewing evidence on the chemicals.

It said the industry has already put measures in place to reduce the trans fat content of products, and so further restrictions are not needed.

Back in October, Health Secretary Alan Johnson asked the FSA to review whether new rules on trans fats were needed in the UK.

It comes after bans were brought in in New York and Denmark.

The Department of Health will now assess the FSA research and make a decision on whether new curbs are required.

Trans fats make up just 1% of food energy for the average UK consumer, around half the recommended maximum intake.

But saturated fat consumption is about 13.3% of food energy per person, compared with the recommended maximum of 11%.

The FSA is now working with the industry to reduce these levels in food.

FSA chairwoman Dame Deirdre Hutton said: "I'm delighted that industry has responded so positively to this issue and I think this decision provides a springboard for our future work on salt and saturated fat."


Copyright © PA Business 2007