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Curbs on food trans fats considered

A consumer watchdog is considering new restrictions on trans fats, it has emerged.

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) is reviewing its advice to the government on the impact of the fats, which have been linked to an increased risk of heart disease.

It could ultimately recommend mandatory restrictions on their use, but laws similar to those brought in across New York and Denmark are unlikely to be needed, as levels in the UK are not that high.

"Current average dietary intakes of trans fats for UK consumers are not therefore a cause for concern, as they are half the maximum recommended level at 1% of food energy. This is an upper estimate and actual intakes are likely to be lower," papers from the FSA said.

In New York, restrictions were brought in because trans fats made up around 2.6% of food energy intake, and Denmark voted for legislation to curb their use because high levels were found in some popular foods.

But FSA officials believe the UK's food industry has already voluntarily cut trans fat content.

"Legislation would be unlikely to deliver any significant consumer benefit," the FSA added.

However, the regulator is still calling for trans fat levels to be indicated on foods as part of new Europe-wide labelling proposals due to come into force early next year.


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