In order to safeguard public health, the draft regulations titled, “Limiting Trans Fatty Acid in Food Products Regulations, 2021” has been uploaded today (22 March 2021, Monday) for public consultation on the website of Bangladesh Food Safety Authority (http://www.bfsa.gov.bd). A discussion meeting has been held on that occasion at the Bijoy 71 Auditorium. The honorable Chairman of the Bangladesh Food Safety Authority Mr. Md. Abdul Kayowm Sarker presided as the chief guest at the discussion meeting. The draft regulation was presented by Bangladesh Food Safety Authority Member, Mr. Monzur Morshed Ahmed. The meeting was chaired by Bangladesh Food Safety Authority Member, Mr. Md. Rejaul Karim. Among other guests at the discussion meeting, members of the Technical Committee on Trans Fat, officials from various government offices, and representatives of civil society organizations were present.
In his speech, the chief guest Mr. Md. Abdul Kayowm Sarker said that “The maximum limit of trans fat in fats, oils, and foods has been set below 2% in the regulations to safeguard public health. It has been opened today for public consultation. We hope that we can finalize this draft within a very short time.” The Head of the Technical Committee on Trans Fat and Member of Bangladesh Food Safety Authority Mr. Morshed Ahmed said that, “The World Health Organization has called to all member countries to regulate trans fat within 2023. We have formulated the regulations keeping that target in mind. We request all businessmen, industrial organizations, and consumers of the country to visit our website and provide their comments on the prepared regulations.” Member of the Technical Committee on Trans Fat Professor Dr. Nazma Shaheen and Member of Bangladesh Food Safety Authority Professor Dr. Abdul Alim participated in the discussion on the draft regulations. The chair of the meeting, Mr. Md. Rejaul Karim said that, “This draft regulation is a timely step by the Bangladesh Food Safety Authority in order to safeguard people from trans fat or moreover, risks of heart diseases. I congratulate all concerned with promulgating this regulation.”
Trans Fatty Acid (TFA) or trans fat is a food element harmful for health. The prime source of trans fat in food is partially hydrogenated oil or PHO, which is popularly known as dalda or bonospoti-ghee in Bangladesh. PHO or dalda is most commonly used in bakery items, processed foods and deep fried snacks as well as in food preparation by hotels, restaurants and street food vendors. Intake of excessive trans fat is associated with increased risks of heart diseases, deaths from heart diseases, dementia, and cognitive impairment. The 2020 report by WHO estimates that Bangladesh ranks among the 15 countries with the highest burden of TFA-induced deaths from heart diseases. With the implementation of this draft regulation, the Bangladesh Food Safety Authority hopes to leap forward in ensuring food safety for the people of the country.