Journalists from various media houses on Sunday in Enugu urged the Federal Government to enact a law regulating the use and consumption of Industrial Trans-Fatty Acids (TFAs).
Trans-Fatty Acids, also called trans-unsaturated fatty acids are unsaturated fat that naturally occur in small amounts in meat and milk fat.
TFAs are made when food makers turn liquid oils into solid fats like shortening or margarine.
They can be found in many fried, “fast’’ packaged or processed foods, including anything fried and battered.
They can also be found in stick margarine, cakes, cake mixes, pies, pie crust, and doughnuts.
Animal foods such as red meats and dairy have small amounts of Trans-Fats, but most Trans-Fats come from processed foods.
Speaking at the end of a-two-day training on FTAs, the journalists noted that enacting the law would reduce incidence of cardiovascular diseases nationwide.
Mr Chukwunweike Madu of Radio Nigeria said government needed to be more serious in creating awareness and enforcing checks on TFAs.
Madu noted that TFAs were causing serious cardiovascular challenges for people above the age of 40 years who must have been consuming oily or packaged foods over the years.
Mr Emmanuel Ugwueze of the Daily Post corroborated Madu’s views as he said government should act speedily as many people were suffering from cardiovascular diseases and dying without knowing cause of their ailments.
Ugwueze noted that actions must be urgently taken because the treatment of cardiovascular diseases impacted negatively on personal and national economies.
He stressed that while advocacy could have some positive impact, a law regulating the use of FTAs would be more beneficial.
An Editor with the Sun Newspapers, Mr Geoffrey Anyanwu, also aligned himself with the views of Madu and Ugwueze.
He noted that consumers of FTAs might not know they were exposing themselves to dangers until government enacted the law against their use.
Eighteen journalists drawn for the five states in the Southeast attended the training organised by Corporate Accountability and Public Participation Africa, a Civil Society Organisation.