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Eversheds comment: Impact of US trans fat ban to be felt across food industry

      08-11-2013

      Following a move by US regulators to remove trans fats from the US diet, Parmjit Singh, partner and Head of International Food and Drink Sector at global law firm Eversheds, comments:

      "Over the past decade there has been an increasing focus by regulators, both in America and Europe, to take action to reduce health related diseases by imposing strict requirements on what manufacturers can include in food products and improving consumer awareness on what they are eating; measures have included working with manufacturers to agree responsibility deals, imposing voluntary and now increasingly mandatory labelling requirements and regulating the use of health and nutrition claims connected to food products.

      "The proposal by American regulators to ban trans fat from the majority of food products signals that they may be ready to move away from promoting voluntary manufacturers initiatives and consumer awareness and take more decisive action, including banning substances which can be evidenced as being harmful to consumers.

      "The impact of this proposal, if successful, would be far ranging. Any food business which imports or sells food products in the American market would be affected by this change and would need to revise the content of their food products accordingly. Furthermore, it is likely that the European Commission, who itself is due to publish a report on the use of trans fats by December 2014, will take into consideration any decision made by American food regulators."

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