The Consumers Association of Bangladesh (CAB) submitted a memorandum to the Bangladesh Food Safety Authority (BFSA) on Sunday, demanding enactment of regulations to check the use of trans fat in food products.
The CAB demanded that rules be introduced to ensure that the amount of trans fat in all kinds of food products should not exceed 2.0 per cent of total fat and oil.
Consumption of excessive trans fats is strongly associated with increased risk of severe coronary heart disease, dementia, cognitive impairment and other fatal diseases.
The memorandum with signatures of 41,013 consumers was submitted during a meeting with the BFSA, presided over by BFSA chairman Md Abdul Kayowm Sarker, says a press release.
BFSA members Md Rezaul Karim, Shahnawaj Dilruba Khan, Md Monzur Morshed Ahmed and Prof Dr Abdul Alim, BFSA secretary Md Abdul Naser Khan, Global Health Advocacy Incubator (GHAI) country lead Muhammad Ruhul Kuddus, CAB vice president S M Nazer Hossain, and its secretary Humayun Kabir Bhuiyan spoke at the meeting.
The BFSA chairman informed the meeting that a draft policy guideline on the use of trans fat has almost been completed, which will be disclosed soon for a public hearing.
According to recent research conducted by the National Heart Foundation Hospital and Research Institute (NHFHRI), 92 per cent of partially hydrogenated oils (PHOs), popularly known as dalda, sampled in Dhaka contained excessive levels of trans-fatty acid (TFA).
The research found that the mean TFA level in the PHO samples was found to be 11g per 100g sample, more than five times the WHO-set standard.
It found such concerning results after analysing samples from leading PHO brands in Dhaka city.
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), trans fat content in food products should not exceed more than 2.0 per cent of fats and oils.
The WHO estimates that excessive intake of industrially produced TFA is responsible for more than 0.5 million heart disease-related deaths globally every year.
Bangladesh sees 0.277 million deaths from heart diseases every year for different reasons, according to the government statistics.