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Call for ensuring trans-fat-free safe food- Speakers at World Food Safety Day Webinar

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Excessive amount of trans fat in food is increasing the prevalence of heart diseases and various other non-communicable diseases along with the overall fatality risk in Bangladesh. Safe food must be ensured by controlling trans fat levels in food to protect public health. The government has passed the “Controlling Trans-Fatty Acid in Foodstuffs Regulation 2021” to curb the use of trans fats in food. However, not much progress has been noticed in terms of its implementation. Comprehensive implementation of the regulations is required to reduce the risk of trans-fat-induced heart diseases. Speakers highlighted this information at a webinar titled “Implementation of Trans Fatty Acid Control Regulations: Progress and Way Forward”, organized by research and advocacy organization PROGGA (Knowledge for Progress) with support from Global Health Advocacy Incubator (GHAI) on Tuesday, June 11, 2024 on the occasion of World Food Safety Day. The day was observed this year under the theme “Food safety: prepare for the unexpected”.

According to the WHO report on Global Trans-fat Elimination 2022, 43 countries including neighboring India have implemented best-practice policies for tackling trans fat in food. However, Bangladesh is still lagging behind in this issue.

Dr. Mohammad Mostafa, Member (Public Health and Nutrition), Bangladesh Food Safety Authority (BFSA) informed at the webinar, “There are various stages involved in implementing the trans fatty acid regulation. We are moving forward step by step and we are optimistic about commencing the full-fledged implementation of the regulation soon.”

Enamul Hoque, Deputy Director (Agriculture and Food), Standards Wing, Bangladesh Standards and Testing Institution (BSTI) said, “We have some technical limitations in terms of implementing the regulation. However, we are actively working to overcome these.”

Mustak Hassan Md Iftekhar, Founder Chairman of Bangladesh Food Safety Authority (BFSA) and Secretary General and CEO of Bangladesh Food Safety Foundation (BFSF), Muhammad Ruhul Quddus, Bangladesh Country Lead of GHAI, Professor Dr. Sohel Reza Choudhury, Head of Department of Epidemiology & Research, National Heart Foundation, Shamsun Naher Nahid, Head of Nutrition at the Department of Diet and Nutrition of BIRDEM General Hospital, SM Nazer Hossain, Vice President, Consumers Association of Bangladesh (CAB), and ABM Zubair, Executive Director of PROGGA were also present at the webinar as discussants. The webinar was moderated by PROGGA’s Coordinator Sadia Galiba Prova. People of different professions from different regions of the country participated in the webinar.

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