Taiwan may ban trans fat in food after the U.S.

By Ko Lin

Taiwan’s Food and Drug Administration (TFDA) disclosed Monday its proposal to follow in the footpath of the United States’ complete ban of partially hydrogenated oils (PHOs), or trans fat in its food supply over the next three years.

The official announcement will only be made either by year-end or beginning of next year if the proposed bill is deemed clear of passage after 60 days, according to TFDA’s Division of Food Safety official Tseng Su-hsiang.

On June 16, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) ruled that trans fat is not generally recognized as safe for use in human food, health risks that also contribute to heart disease.

The health department is garnering opinions and views from local experts after which the new regulation will be put into effect.

Meanwhile, on a separate report, a new law effective as of July 1 stipulates that packaged foods must be clearly labeled for consumer reference if their trans fat level exceeds 0.3 percent, which is currently consistent with food labeling regulations in the U.S., Canada and Denmark.

Trans fat is often found in baked goods or fried foods, but prior to July food items labeled as having no trans fats could still contain such substances.

Violators failing to comply with the new labeling regulation may be punished with fines of between NT$30,000 and NT$3 million.

Photo Courtesy of CNA
      Photo Courtesy of CNA
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