CAPPA – Corporate Accountability and Public Participation Africa

Delayed implementation of trans-fats regulation worsening heart diseases – NGOs


Some Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) have again tasked the federal government to speed up the gazetting of relevant regulations to eliminate Trans-fatty acids (TFAs) from foods by 2023.[spacer height=”25px”]

The Corporate Accountability and Public Participation Africa (CAPPA), in conjunction with the Network for Health Equity and Development (NHED), the Global Health Advocacy Incubator (GHAI) made the call to the federal government on Monday in an activity organised to commemorate the 2022 World Food Day.[spacer height=”25px”]

They note that Trans fats are increasing the risk of heart disease, diabetes, obesity, cancers, dementia, and death.[spacer height=”25px”]

They urged the government, particularly the federal ministry of justice to gazette the Fats and Oils Regulations immediately to finalise the process of gazetting the ‘Fats and Oils Regulation, 2021’ for the benefit of the Nigerian public.[spacer height=”25px”]

Akinbode Oluwafemi, executive director of Corporate Accountability and Public Participation Africa (CAPPA), explained that the mandatory regulation which would come into force upon its gazetting of the regulation, along with other instruments, would expand the access of Nigerians, regardless of their social status to healthy food.[spacer height=”25px”]

He said it will also greatly impact the health cost incurred by individuals who would have been exposed to unhealthy food and its debilitating impacts.[spacer height=”25px”]

“For emphasis, combating cardiovascular diseases is beyond behavioural change as the burden of these diseases needs conscious effort from the government to reduce its incidences. Many of us understand the harrowing experiences associated with diabetes, heart failure, kidney diseases, cancers, and obesity, amongst others.[spacer height=”25px”]

“Trans Fat can be found in baked foods, fries, pre-packaged foods, and cooking oils. It is also in butter, salmon, egg yolks, and cows’ milk and foods we consider our favourite. On this premise we can assert that there is no hiding place for any one of us unless the government acts fast too,” he urged.[spacer height=”25px”]

The executive director also urged the government to put in place an effective implementation framework of the regulation for the good of Nigerians.[spacer height=”25px”]

Jerome Mafeni, project advisor, NHED stressed that improving access to safe and nutritious food is important, especially for poor and vulnerable communities who are hit hardest by the harmful effects unhealthy foods have on consumers; but said it can be prevented through the improvement in public awareness and appropriate regulations.[spacer height=”25px”]

Quoting statistics from the World Health Organization, Mafeni stated that over 500, 000 persons died yearly resulting from complications associated with the consumption of foods high in trans fats.[spacer height=”25px”]

He further enthused that the elimination of industrially produced TFA from food is feasible.[spacer height=”25px”]

“The theme of this year’s World Food Day ‘Leave No One Behind’ also provides an opportunity to impress on the federal government and key policymakers the importance of the early passage and gazetting of the 2022 Oils and Fats Regulations, a mandatory regulation that addresses the number of TFAs permissible in our food systems,” he said.[spacer height=”25px”]

“This is because this caters to everyone’s needs and rights regarding access to healthy food options.”[spacer height=”25px”]

“Early passage and implementation of these regulations will also safeguard the health of Nigerians and reduce the inflow of trans-fatty foods into our food markets,” he urged.[spacer height=”25px”]

Source: BusinessDay

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