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September 17, 2018

Health Canada's ban on partially hydrogenated oils

Today, Minister Petitpas Taylor announced that Health Canada’s ban on partially hydrogenated oils (PHOs)—the largest source of industrially produced trans fats in foods—came into effect today. It is now illegal for manufacturers to add PHOs to foods sold in Canada.  This includes both Canadian and imported foods, as well as those prepared in all food service establishments.

Announced last year to give industry time to adapt, the ban came into effect today with the addition of PHOs to Part 1 of Health Canada’s List of Contaminants and Other Adulterating Substances in Foods

Prohibiting the use of PHOs in foods is a key deliverable of the Department’s Healthy Eating Strategy, which aims to make the healthier food choice the easier choice for all Canadians. Proceeding with this prohibition will effectively reduce trans fats in the food supply to the lowest level possible. It will also help achieve the public health objective of reducing trans fat intake by the great majority of Canadians to less than 1% of total energy intake. Achieving this objective is expected to help reduce the risk of heart disease among the general population. 

Further information on this decision, including a summary of comments received during the April 2017 public consultation, is available in the Notice of Modification: Prohibiting the Use of Partially Hydrogenated Oils (PHOs) in Foods (Ref. No. NOM/ADM-C-2017-3).

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