Food Industry Supports Government of Canada's Trans Fat Elimination Plan

    TORONTO, June 20 /CNW/ - Food & Consumer Products of Canada (FCPC)
welcomed today's announcement by federal Health Minister, Tony Clement, asking
the food industry to cut industrial trans fats in the Canadian food supply by
2009. The government is asking that industry achieve trans fat reduction
targets in accordance with recommendations put forward in a task force report
released last year.
    According to FCPC CEO, Nancy Croitoru, the food industry in Canada has
already made great strides towards the elimination of trans fats and looks
forward to working with government over the next two years to finish the task.
    "As any Canadian who has been to the grocery store recently can attest,
food companies have been working very hard over the last number of years to
reduce and eliminate trans fats in their products. Beyond the good work of the
companies themselves, the work of the Trans Fat Task Force deserves much
credit for raising the profile of the issue in the minds of both industry and
the public," said Croitoru, noting as evidence recent ACNeilsen data which
shows that limiting trans fats is top of mind with Canadian consumers.
    While FCPC was an active member of the task force and fully supported its
recommendations to government, Croitoru stated that "our industry's main
concerns revolve around the availability of an adequate supply of healthy
alternatives to trans fats," noting that "as food manufacturers continue to
eliminate trans from their products they want to ensure they are not forced to
return to using saturated fats, like palm oil, due to an inadequate supply of
healthier alternatives."
    "We're pleased with today's announcement and believe it sends a clear
signal to both the agricultural community and agri-food researchers of the
importance of building the supply of healthier alternatives to trans fats, and
we look forward to encouraging industry to choose from those healthier
alternatives for reformulation," said Phyllis Tanaka, FCPC's Director of Food
and Nutrition Policy.
    FCPC will assist Health Canada as they work to monitor industry's
progress over the next two years.

    Food & Consumer Products of Canada (FCPC) is the largest industry
association representing Canadian-operated food and consumer product companies
that make and market national and retailer brands sold through retail and
foodservice outlets. The industry employs approximately 300,000 Canadians
across the country, making it the largest employer in the Canadian
manufacturing sector, generating $24 billion annually in GDP (13% of the
Manufacturing Gross Domestic Product). On an annual basis, the industry
donates an estimated $100 million in cash donations to charitable causes and
over 5 million bags of groceries to food banks in Canada. The industry has a
record of embracing world-class regulatory standards and is governed by 442
federal and provincial pieces of legislation, as well as thousands of
regulations and self-imposed standards.

For further information:

For further information: Thomas Vandepeer, Director of Communications &
Events, FCPC, Tel: (416) 510-8024 ext. 2253, Email:

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