топик Banning Trans Fats

In November 2004, the Parliament of Canada voted to take action on the use of artificial trans fats in food. The government had one year to develop new standards for the food industry. Legislation forcing food producers to include trans fats on their product labels was passed earlier and become law in 2006.

The consumption of trans fats is a serious health issue. Trans fats raise levels of bad cholesterol, and because the body cannot rid itself of these fats, they collect in the arteries and may lead to heart attacks and strokes . The new legislation was aimed at trans fats found in processed foods such as margarine, doughnuts, instant soups, cake mixes, and frozen pizzas.

A task force made up of people from the food industry, universities, and the Heart and Stroke Foundation was set up to suggest ways to remove or reduce trans fats from Canadians’ diets.

Not everyone was in favor of this action. Some parliamentarians think that the government should not decide what people can or cannot eat. Food industry spokespeople say that trans fats may have to be replaced with other, perhaps equally unhealthy, substances. Others were concerned that current levels of these foods might be disturbed because, without trans fats, they could not stay on grocery shelves for as long.

However, several food manufacturers, such as Voortman Cookies, Kellogg’s, and McCain’s, began to reduce or remove trans fats from their products voluntarily. This was mainly due to pressure from consumers and health authorities.


Pre-Reading Warm Up Questions :

  1. Do you read the label on a food item before you buy it?
  2. Do you feel that the food you buy at the supermarket is properly labeled?
  3. Are there any types of ingredients that you try to avoid when buying food?
  4. What nutritional facts are usually listed on the food you buy?
  5. What other nutritional facts would you like to see on a food label?
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