Pakistan needs clear policy guidelines, legislation on iTFA risks-News

Pakistan needs clear policy guidelines, legislation on iTFA risks-News-SDPI

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Pakistan needs clear policy guidelines, legislation on iTFA risks

The experts at a launch of a policy document on Monday called for multi-stakeholder engagement intended to raise awareness of risks caused by the Industrial Trans Fatty Acids (iTFAs) proliferating in the food range of the country.

The Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) in collaboration with Cargill launched the policy brief on Reducing Industrial Trans Fatty Acids in Pakistan. It chalked out the regulatory landscape and actionable recommendations to curb iTFAs in the country.

UsmanQaiyyum, Country Lead, Cargill-Pakistan said public awareness of iTFAs was very crucial, whereas the SDPI has been making relentless efforts to address this issue at the relevant forums. “The SDPI team deserves appreciation for successfully formulating this document which will serve for a long time to carve policy actions on controlling iTFAs,” he said. He mentioned that almost one billion people were obese in the world making it 13-14% of the total population with more trend of obesity in the new generation, which is found less in the older generation due to the shift towards fast foods and bakery items having a higher ratio of iTFAs. “Obesity alone incurred $2 trillion economic impact around the world that includes medical cost, number of other things, low productivity of obese individuals, employment and mental health challenges and is expected to reach beyond $3 trillion by 2030,” he said.

DrTahiraSiddiqui, Deputy Director, Islamabad Food Authority said that the unsaturated naturally produced trans fatty acids (TFAs) mainly acquired from meat and dairy sources were healthy, but the saturated TFAs produced industrially by hydrogenation of palm oil were causing serious dietary risks leading to cancer and ischemic heart diseases. “Pakistan is the second highest consumer of trans fats in the Eastern Mediterranean region. However, this policy brief has focused on developing the alternatives and promoting collaboration among different stakeholders, public awareness, and assist dialogue between government and the industry,” she said.

FahadWaheed, Director of Fauji Cooking Oils and Banaspati said Pakistanis consume 20kg per capita TFAs which is far bigger than the countries having no cardiovascular disease burden.

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