Bangladesh Food Safety Authority (BFSA) has recently adopted a policy regulating toxic trans fatty acids in food products.
in 2018, the World Health Organisation (WHO) set the target of eliminating industrially-produced trans-fat from the global food supply chain by 2023 and the policy is aimed at meeting the target of fixing the maximum level of trans fat to 2% of the total fat in all oils, fats and foodstuffs by 31 December 2022.
The notification of the policy adoption appeared in the government gazette on 29 November, read a press release.
Organisations working with cardiovascular diseases believe the policy will ensure safe food and at the same time play a pivotal role in preventing non-communicable diseases.
Vandana Shah, regional director of South Asia Programs at Global Health Advocacy Incubator (GHAI), said: "Bangladesh joins a growing number of countries, including India, Brazil and Turkey, that are taking steps to follow the WHO's call to eliminate industrially produced trans fat from their food supply by 2023. I applaud BFSA's leadership and initiative in making Bangladesh TFA-free. This policy will contribute significantly towards reducing the burden of cardiovascular diseases and will motivate other countries in the region to take similar action."
Founder and President of the National Heart Foundation of Bangladesh, National Professor Brigadier (Retd) Abdul Malik said, "Implementation of the new regulation will drastically reduce the prevalence of heart diseases in the country."
The Bangladesh Country Lead of Ghai, Muhammad Ruhul Quddus said, "Ensuring trans-fat free food will help reduce medical costs, and at the same time increase the demand of our food products in the international market."
A 2019 study revealed that the level of trans fat (trans fatty acid) in 92% of samples of leading Partially-Hydrogenated Oils (PHO) brands of Dhaka city surpasses the WHO threshold of 2%.
According to the WHO, Bangladesh ranks among the 15 countries with the highest burden of death owing to trans-fat-induced heart diseases.
Executive Director of Progga, ABM Zubair said, "4.41% of deaths from heart diseases in Bangladesh are attributable to trans-fat intake. This regulation will surely contribute to achieving SDG goal 3.4 of reducing premature deaths from non-communicable diseases by one-third within 2030."