Nutrition groups push for law banning trans fatty acids 

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GROUPS in the nutrition sector reiterated their call to enact a law banning trans fatty acids (TFAs) in processed and pre-packaged food after a substitute bill recently passed a House panel.  

ImagineLaw, a public interest law group, along with nutrition groups Nutrition Center of the Philippines, Nutrition Foundation of the Philippines, Philippine Association of Nutrition, and Philippine Society of Nutritionist-Dietitians called on lawmakers to prioritize the measure that will prohibit the use of industry-made trans fatty acids or TFAs.  

The House committee on health approved on Wednesday an unnumbered substitute bill that seeks to prohibit the manufacture, distribution and importation of food products containing trans-fat.  

During the panel meeting, Health Undersecretary Beverly Lorraine C. Ho said TFAs are deemed the “tobacco of food and have absolutely no substantial health benefits.” 

“High consumption of TFA is also linked to increased risk of coronary heart disease, type 2 diabetes, autoimmune diseases, and other NCDs (noncommunicable diseases),” Ms. Ho said, noting that NCDs ranked seven in the top 10 leading causes of death, usually occurring among 30- and 69-year-olds.  

The nutrition groups said that the proposed law would “curb cardiovascular diseases among Filipinos.”  

“(T)he measure will be a victory for heart health and a great gift for all Filipinos this Philippine Heart Month,” ImagineLaw Executive Director Sophia Monica San Luis said in a statement.  

A counterpart bill in the Senate is currently pending at the committee level. — Beatriz Marie D. Cruz