Nice has made a pretty dramatic statement with its latest guidelines, calling for a total ban on trans fats. Ok, they’re a particularly nasty fat type, but surely we can make up our own minds when it comes to what we eat?
A few years ago our research exposed high levels of trans fats in some foods, helping to prompt voluntary action by the main food companies to remove them.
“To their credit, many companies have made progress,” says our Senior Advocacy Advisor, Mette Kahlin. “We’ve been pleased with the voluntary approach by industry, but now it’s time to ensure everyone is acting.”
She believes the Food Standards Agency (FSA) should work with the food industry to make it clear that including trans fats is no longer acceptable, promoting the fact that voluntary action can work. “If not, then legislation should be considered, but only as a last resort,” she argues. “When most of the industry is acting responsibly, it’s important that any stragglers play their part too.”
One bit of the Nice guidelines we were pleased to see was their support for an integrated colour coding system on food labelling. The system includes traffic lights, the text “high, medium and low”, as well as %GDA to show whether a product has high, low or medium levels of salt, fat and sugar.
This is something we’ve been shouting about for years, and we’re not alone. Research shows consumers want it, the FSA wants it and now Nice wants it too. Shame the European Parliament still isn’t listening, but that’s at least 4-1 to us so far. Who will be next to join in?