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Sweden may be heading for trans fat ban

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Sweden may be heading for trans fat ban
10:26 CEST+02:00
Sweden may be moving towards a law limiting industrially produced trans fats in food products, following the lead of several other EU countries.

The demand was driven by the Riksdag's oppositional parties last year, and the National Food Agency (Livsmedelsverket) is now readying a proposal, according to Sveriges Radio (SR).

However, the agency's Lars-Börje Croon told SR that he believes Sweden ought to wait for shared EU rules.

"Shared legislation is better than national rules. It's not a question of some sort of urgent health risk which needs handling," he said.

The EU commission will be presenting a report on trans fats roughly two years from now.

Several other European countries; Denmark, Iceland, Switzerland and Austria, already have laws limiting the use of trans fats in food.

In Denmark for instance, banning food products with trans fats rates of over two percent, which are considered damaging.

This summer, the Swedish government will decide whether or not Sweden ought to follow these countries' example, and the National Food Agency's demand for legislation.

Trans fats have been found to increase the risk of coronary disease. Artificial trans fats can be found in, among others, cookies and fast food.

Although Swedes' consumption of trans fats is overall below the Nordic maximum recommended levels, the proposition could protect certain risk groups, supporters argue.

"We do have a very varied, and unequal health. We have bigger health risks in certain groups than in others. A person who eats a lot of fast food is going to consume more trans fats than someone with a normally varied diet," said Gunvor G Ericson to SR.

Ericson is a Green Party MP, and wrote the parliamentary motion which sparked the National Food Agency's action in the matter.

Elisabet Rytter, of the industry trade group Li (Livsmedelsföretagen), also sees an advantage.

"It'll make things easier and more clear for the consumer," she said to SR.

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