The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has been urged to accelerate the speedy passage of the Fat and Oils Regulations 2019” and the “Pre-Packaged, Ice and Labelling Regulations of 2019”, so as to eliminate the consumption of trans-fatty foods in the country.
Speaking at the coalition press conference with the theme Trans fat and Cardiovascular Disease: Protecting the Health of the Populace through TFA Regulation”, the Executive Director of Corporate Accountability and Public Participation Africa (CAPPA) Akinbode Oluwafemi, said that trans fats are fats produced from the industrial process of hydrogenation that makes makes the oils have long shelf life, while consumption of foods high in trans-fat contribute largely to the increase in cardiovascular disease.
Akinbode added that cardiovascular disease accounts for nearly half of all Non-Communicable Disease (NCD) deaths, as Non communicable diseases are the world’s leading cause of death but are largely preventable if healthy lifestyles and healthy diets are adopted.
In his words, “the dangerous industrially produced trans fatty acids that we are talking about are used in baked and fried foods, prepackage snacks, some cooking oils and fats that are used in general cooking in the home, it is hoped that the draft regulation will be given the much needed consent by NAFDAC in no distant time’’.
Earlier, the Technical Adviser, Trans-fat free Nigeria Campaign, Network for Health and Development (NHED) Dr. Jerome Mafeni recommended that it is important for NAFDAC to finalize the processes for completing its participation in the WHO TFA laboratory testing “ring-trial” so that the enhanced capacity to carry out TFA testing will serve the country and the entire West African Region while calling for the more assessment of TFA in Nigerian foods to build support for policy action and establish a baseline for measuring progress over time.
In her address, In-Country Coordinator, Global Health Advocacy Incubator (GHA) Joy Amafah said that Nigerians will only be safe from toxic chemical trans-fat once strict mandatory limits are fully implemented in accordance with WHO recommendations.