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Medical Journal backs call for trans-fat labelling

9 November 2007

Medical Journal backs Green call for trans-fat labelling

Green Party Health Spokesperson Sue Kedgley is urging the Government to rethink its policies on trans-fatty acids, in the wake of the New Zealand Medical Journal today highlighting the dangers of trans-fatty acids and recommending labelling regulations.

"Artificially produced trans-fatty acids are harmful and have no nutritional benefits for consumers. Their only real purpose is to extend the self life of products, and now we have alternatives that can be used," Ms Kedgley says.

"If health authorities are going to permit dangerous substances like trans-fatty acids into our food, the least the Government should do is ensure that consumers know they are there through mandatory labelling," Ms Kedgley says.

"Coronary heart disease is the leading single cause of death in New Zealand, so we should be doing everything we can to get these dangerous fats out of our food supply.

"I call on the Government to introduce mandatory labelling of trans-fatty acids and to stop foot-dragging on this issue."

"It's alarming that despite assurances by health authorities that there are only low levels of trans-fats in the New Zealand food supply, some food in New Zealand, such as butter flavoured pop-corn, has up to 42 percent content.

"Given that an intake of only five grams a day over 10 years is associated with a 25 percent increase in cardiovascular disease, this is a serious concern." Ms Kedgley says.

The 'Pick the Tick' healthy food programme endorses a maximum of two percent content of trans-fatty acids in food.

ENDS

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