Heart and Stroke Foundation: Regulations for Trans Fats Necessary

    OTTAWA, June 18 /CNW Telbec/ - The Heart and Stroke Foundation supports
Pat Martin, Member of Parliament for Winnipeg Centre, in today's call for the
federal government to regulate trans fats in Canada's food supply.
    After the release of the trans fat task force report, Health Canada gave
the food industry two years to reduce the amount of heart-clogging trans fat
in their foods, with government monitoring of trans fat levels in Canadian
foods every six months in the interim. At that time, it also indicated that it
would introduce regulations to virtually eliminate processed trans fats if
progress was unsatisfactory.
    June 20, 2009 marks the end of the designated two year period - but there
is no cause for celebration.
    Results from monitoring data to date shows that the levels of trans fats
in our foods have not decreased sufficiently. The fourth and final set of
trans fat monitoring results are expected to be released shortly.

    The time has come for the federal government to regulate.

    Reducing trans fat levels to those recommended by the Trans Fat Task
Force will reduce the number of heart attacks in Canada and save lives. A high
consumption of trans fats leads to a threefold increase in the risk of heart
disease and is responsible for almost 3,000 cardiac deaths every year in
Canada.(1) Trans fats are at least five times more harmful, on a gram-by-gram
basis, than saturated fats.(2)
    "The Heart and Stroke Foundation applauds MP Pat Martin for calling the
federal government to take action now. Voluntary measures, even with public
monitoring, are not going to be sufficient," says Sally Brown, CEO of the
Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada. "Our federal government must act now to
prepare appropriate regulations."

    The Heart and Stroke Foundation (www.heartandstroke.ca), a
volunteer-based health charity, leads in eliminating heart disease and stroke
and reducing their impact through the advancement of research and its
application, the promotion of healthy living, and advocacy.

    1. Estimate based on Harvard School of Public Health data.
    2. Stender S, Dyerberg J. Influence of trans fatty acids on health.
    Annals of Nutrition & Metabolism 2004;48:61-6.

For further information:

For further information: Eileen Melnick McCarthy, Heart and Stroke
Foundation, (613) 569-4361 ext. 318

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