Healthy living: Approve fats and oils regulation bill, group begs NAFDAC

Corporate Accountability and Public Participation Africa (CAPPA) has urged the Governing Council of the National Agency for Foods and Drugs Administration (NAFDAC) to approve the Fats and Oils Regulations Bill, which regulates trans fats in foods as a new year gift to Nigerians.

CAPPA also called on the agency to commence mass education on eating right and shunning foods containing unhealthy trans fat since most Nigerians are very sensitive to their health at the beginning of the year and set about making resolutions, which they try to follow through.

In a statement made available to Blueprint in Abuja Monday, signed by the Programme Manager of CAPPA, Adie Vanessa Offiong, CAPPA Executive Director, Akinbode Oluwafemi, said it would be important for NAFDAC to make use of the opportunity by setting in motion the process for the draft Oil and Fats Regulation Bill 2019 to be passed so that Nigerians can be guided by approved regulations on foods containing trans fat and able to tell when the levels are unsafe for them to consume.

The statement reads: “The wellbeing of Nigerians should be a priority of government in 2021 owing, to the devastating effects of the COVID 19 on the citizenry in year 2020. Eating right is one of the ways that this can happen and the approval of the Oils and Fats Regulations is definitely the right step.

“In a bid to ensure a trans fat free world, the World Health Organisation (WHO) came up with the REPLACE Action Package to eliminate industrially produced trans fat. The REPLACE package outlines six strategic action areas to support the prompt, complete, and sustained elimination of industrially-produced TFA from the food supply.

“According to the WHO, eliminating industrially-produced trans-fatty acids (TFA) from the food supply is one of the priority targets identified in the draft 13th General Programme of Work, which will guide the work of the World Health Organization (WHO) in 2019-2023.

“The apex health organisation warns that increased intake of TFA (>1% of total energy intake) is associated with increased risk of coronary heart disease (CHD) events and mortality. It attributes over 500,000 deaths globally in 2010 to increased intake of TFA.

“Industrially-produced TFA have no known health benefits. WHO urges that the elimination of industrially-produced TFA is feasible and achievable. During the past decade, various policy actions (including mandatory and voluntary TFA labelling, reformulation, and national and local TFA prohibitions) have been implemented by countries aiming to restrict the TFA content of food and reduce TFA intake in their populations.

“While echoing WHO in pointing out that, several countries have in fact virtually eliminated industrially-produced TFA from the food supply through implementation of systematic policy actions and monitoring programs, CAPPA urges that the time for NAFDAC to act is now for a trans fat free Nigeria.”

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