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‘‘Killer fat’ risk ignored by Ireland and EU’- Lynn Boylan MEP

13 July, 2016 - by Senator Lynn Boylan

Sinn Féin MEP Lynn Boylan has this week accused the Irish Government, and the European Commission, of putting the health of consumers on the backburner, with neither coming forward with legislative proposals to reduce “killer fats” (transfats), found in cheaper and processed foods.

Speaking in the Environment Committee in the European Parliament in Brussels, Ms Boylan said,

“Transfats are fats which have been termed ‘killer fats’ and with strong evidence to link their consumption to heart disease and early death, it’s no wonder. These fats are hidden in everyday food products such as pizzas, cakes and biscuits and pose an unacceptable risk to public health. In Ireland alone, 10, 000 people die every year from cardiovascular disease.

“People in lower socio-economic groups who are already at risk of rising health inequalities, consume transfats in cheaper and more processed foods where these fats are most common and in quantities which significantly increase their risk of heart disease.

“In the absence of EU action, many EU Member States have already taken the initiative to pick this low-hanging fruit and set limits for transfat contents. Unfortunately, Ireland is not one of those member states.

A member of the Environment Committee in the European Parliament, Ms Boylan added,

“The Commission has already admitted in December last year that a legal limit for these killer fats in food is the most effective measure to address the health risk to citizens but not for the first time, it’s now dragging its heels in bringing this measure in.

“By delaying this much needed reduction in transfats, which has already been proven possible by some manufacturers reducing transfat content successfully, the European Commission is again putting the health of consumers and especially vulnerable ones on the backburner.” ENDS

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