NHS Watchdog Echoes Smith's Call To Trim Trans-fats From Our Diet

22 June 2010

SNP Member of the European Parliament, Alyn Smith has today welcomed National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) guidelines that stipulate that trans-fats should be eliminated from the food chain. The NHS watchdog’s calls lend weight to Smith’s campaign to see trans-fats limited to no more than 2 per cent content in food ingredients

Smith recently put forward a Written Declaration that has attracted the support of other MEPs, urging the European Commission to consider implementing the limits across the EU. It could be the first step towards a ban of man-made trans-fats in products.

Experts who worked on the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) guidelines say 40,000 of the 150,000 annual deaths are "eminently preventable". They believe that reducing salt and saturated fats, as well as banning trans-fats, would save the NHS more than £1bn

Smith said:

“Their call comes at a welcomed time and is a major boost for my Written Declaration, which has already attracted wide-ranging support from other EU Member States.

"Trans fatty acids are not essential in our diet and do not promote good health. The primary health risks identified from the consumption of industrially-produced TFAs, as opposed to the naturally occurring variety, is an elevated risk of coronary heart disease, diabetes, cancer and obesity."

"Given the extent to which the EU operates as one integrated food market, especially for processed foods, the logical place to look into banning trans-fats is at the EU level. I am campaigning for an EU-wide ban as this would be by far the most effective way to deal with the health problems associated with trans-fats.”