Experts for ensuring trans-fat-free safe food

Experts for ensuring trans-fat-free safe food

Health experts warned in a webinar on Tuesday that excessive trans-fat in food is significantly increasing the prevalence of heart diseases and other non-communicable diseases in Bangladesh, along with the overall fatality risk.

They emphasised the need to control trans-fat levels in food to safeguard public health.
Despite the government’s enactment of the “Controlling Trans-Fatty Acid in Foodstuffs Regulation 2021” to limit Trans fats in food, experts noted that its implementation has seen little progress.

They stressed the necessity for comprehensive enforcement of these regulations to mitigate the risk of trans-fat-induced heart diseases.

PROGGA (Knowledge for Progress), a research and advocacy organization, with support from Global Health Advocacy Incubator (GHAI), arranged the webinar titled “Implementation of Trans Fatty Acid Control Regulations: Progress and Way Forward,” marking World Food Safety Day. The day was observed this year with the theme “Food Safety: Prepare for the Unexpected.”

According to the WHO Report on Global Trans-fat Elimination 2022, 43 countries, including neighbouring India, have implemented best-practice policies for tackling trans-fat in food. However, Bangladesh is still lagging in this issue.

Speaking at the program, Dr Mohammad Mostafa, member (Public Health and Nutrition), Bangladesh Food Safety Authority (BFSA), said, “There are various stages involved in implementing the trans fatty acid regulation. We are moving forward step by step and we are optimistic about commencing the full-fledged implementation of the regulation soon.”
Enamul Hoque, deputy director (Agriculture and Food), Standards Wing, Bangladesh Standards and Testing Institution (BSTI), said, “We have some technical limitations in terms of implementing the regulation. However, we are actively working to overcome these.”
Mustak Hassan Md Iftekhar, founder chairman of Bangladesh Food Safety Authority (BFSA) and Secretary General and CEO of Bangladesh Food Safety Foundation (BFSF), Muhammad Ruhul Quddus, Bangladesh country lead of GHAI, Prof Dr Sohel Reza Choudhury, head of the department of Epidemiology and  Research, National Heart Foundation, Shamsun Naher Nahid, head of nutrition at the Department of Diet and Nutrition of BIRDEM General Hospital, SM Nazer Hossain, vice president, Consumers Association of Bangladesh (CAB), and ABM Zubair, executive director of PROGGA, were also present at the webinar as discussants.
The webinar was moderated by PROGGA’s Coordinator Sadia Galiba Prova. People of different professions from various regions of the country participated in the webinar.