June 20th, 2007.
That was the date that then Minister of Health Tony Clement stated,
"today industry is being given notice they have two years to reduce the levels of trans fats or Health Canada will regulate their use."Well guess what? It's 214 days later than that 2 year free-pass deadline and nothing much has happened to suggest we're any closer to regulation.
Well perhaps that's not altogether fair. Something did happen recently. Suspiciously right before Christmas (suspicious in that the things governments release quietly while people are distracted right before Christmas are generally the things they want to sneak rather than trumpet into existence) Health Canada released their final set of trans-fat monitoring.
Not even remotely surprisingly the results have proven that voluntary methods of trans-fat reduction don't work and regulations are certainly in order.
So really, are trans-fats that bad?
Well according to Sally Brown the Chair of Health Canada's own Trans-Fat Task Force, trans-fats are,
"a "toxic" killer that need to be removed from the food chain as soon as possible"where,
"the longer we wait, the more illness and in fact death will happen, so we know we have to get it out of our food supply"and that,
"there is no safe amount of trans consumption"And as I've noted before, it's not as if Health Canada can't act quickly. Remember what it did with BPA in baby bottles?
"We have immediately taken action on bisphenol A, because we believe it is our responsibility to ensure families, Canadians and our environment are not exposed to a potentially harmful chemical."And more recently with phthalates where Health Canada announced a ban on six phthalates compounds that the most recent comprehensive review article notes,
"Analysis of all of the available data leads to the conclusion that the risks are low, even lower than originally thought, and that there is no convincing evidence of adverse effects on humans. Since the scientific evidence strongly suggests that risks to humans are low, phthalate regulations that have been enacted are unlikely to lead to any marked improvement in public health."So here we've got a known toxin with far more serious public health risks than BPA or phthalates, that's already enjoyed a failed 2 year free pass, and Health Canada still has done absolutely nothing.
Great job Health Canada.