Health Canada is moving forward with prohibiting the use of partially hydrogenated oils (PHOs) in foods

On April 7, 2017, Health Canada published a Notice of Proposal (Ref. No. NOP/ADP-C-2017-3) signalling its intent to prohibit the use of partially hydrogenated oils (PHOs) in foods. Interested parties were given until June 21, 2017, to provide comments on the proposal.

In September, Health Canada published the Notice of Modification: Prohibiting the Use of Partially Hydrogenated Oils (PHOs) in Foods (Ref. No. NOM/ADM-C-2017-3) confirming its decision to proceed with prohibiting the use of PHOs by means of an amendment to Part 1 of the List of Contaminants and Other Adulterating Substances in Foods (the List). The prohibition will take effect the day on which PHOs are added to the List, which Health Canada will be amending 12 months from the date of publication of the Notice of Modification. This one-year transition period will provide manufacturers time to reformulate their products.

Prohibiting the use of PHOs in foods is a key deliverable of the Department’s Healthy Eating Strategy, which aims to make the healthier food choice the easier choice for all Canadians. Proceeding with this prohibition will effectively reduce trans fats in the food supply to the lowest level possible. It will also help achieve the public health objective of reducing trans fat intake by the great majority of Canadians to less than 1% of total energy intake. Achieving this objective is expected to help reduce the risk of coronary heart disease among the general population.

Further information on this decision, including a summary of comments received during the April 2017 public consultation, is available in the Notice of Modification.