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Parliamentary questions
20 December 2013
Joint answer given by Mr Borg on behalf of the Commission
Written questions :E-012709/13 , E-012853/13 , E-012895/13 , E-012777/13

Based on requests of the Commission, the European Food Safety Authority adopted two Scientific Opinions, one on the presence of trans fatty acids in foods and their effect on human health(1) and one on Dietary Reference Values for fats, including trans fatty acids(2).

The Commission is aware that the consumption of trans fatty acids is, along with saturated fat and overall fat intake, known to be a risk factor for the development of cardiovascular disease.

Article 30(7) of Regulation (EU) No 1169/20011 of the European Parliament and of the Council on the provision of food information to consumers(3) requires the Commission to submit by 13 December 2014 ‘a report on the presence of trans fats in foods and in the overall diet of the Union population. The aim of the report shall be to assess the impact of appropriate means that could enable consumers to make healthier food and overall dietary choices or that could promote the provision of healthier food options to consumers, including, among others, the provision of information on trans fats to consumers or restrictions on their use.’ The Commission is also asked to accompany this report with a legislative proposal, if appropriate. This report will address the issue of consumers’ perception of trans fatty acids.

Currently, Denmark, Austria and Hungary have notified national measures limiting the presence of trans fatty acids of non-ruminant origin in foods.

Further, it should be noted that the Commission is encouraging self-regulatory action in order to further decrease the content of trans fatty acids in food products. There are commitments in the EU Platform for Action on Diet, Physical Activity and Health that concern the reformulation of products to reduce the content of trans fatty acids(4).

(1)The EFSA Journal (2004) 81, 1-49.
(2)The EFSA Journal (2010) 8(3), 1461.
(3)OJ L 304, 22.11.2011, p. 18.

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