After the approval 180 days ago by the Congress of the Union of modifications to article 216 bis of the General Health Law, yesterday the prohibition in Mexico of trans fatty acids of industrial origin for the production of oils, edible fats and foods in their presentation for sale to the public.
During the press conference “Prohibition of the use of trans fats in the industrial manufacturing of foodstuffs in Mexico”, convened by the organization Salud Justa MX, the general director of the National Center for Preventive Programs and Disease Control of the Ministry of Health (Cenaprece ) Ruy López Ridaura, announced that trans fatty acids in Mexico cause between 20 and 50 thousand deaths a year.
The public servant celebrated that, with the sum of many efforts during this administration, on September 20, 2023, Mexico is on equal terms with developed countries such as the United States, Canada and many in Western Europe, by prohibiting the use of this input. in the manufacturing of food products.
Trans fatty acids of industrial origin are liquid vegetable oils to which a hydrogenation process is applied in order to convert them into solids, and which were financially very useful for the production of certain processed and ultra-processed food products, since by modifying their taste and by increasing the time they took to decompose, they made them more attractive and easily more marketable for the industry.
However, trans fatty acids, also called partially hydrogenated oils or PHO, turn out to be components that are especially harmful to health because their consumption increases the risk of developing atherosclerosis and, consequently, the risk of present cardiovascular diseases or cerebrovascular accidents (CVA), two of the main causes of death or motor disability in adults in Mexico.
The general director of Cenaprece added that the use of these inputs in the food industry causes a higher incidence of overweight, obesity and diabetes. Therefore, he said that the ban on trans fatty acids is an important step in protecting the health of Mexicans.
He said that currently between 25 and 30 percent of the calories consumed by people in Mexico correspond to ultra-processed products, so it is necessary to strengthen and modify healthy environments. A large part of this modification involves the elimination of clearly harmful products, an objective for which the law that came into force yesterday will be extremely useful.
He explained that the National Commission for the Protection against Sanitary Risks (Cofepris) will be in charge of materializing the prohibition already established in the law, and said that among the sanctions that the violation of the new legally established parameters will imply, is the withdrawal of the product. From the market.
The president of the Health Commission of the Senate of the Republic, Lilia Margarita Valdez Martínez, highlighted that it is a great achievement to eliminate the use of trans fats, since it will be beneficial for the health, particularly of the new generations.
The secretary of the Health Commission of the Chamber of Deputies, Joaquín Zebadúa Alva, pointed out that with the implementation of this measure lives will be saved by stopping the production of large processed food companies that threaten the health of the population.
“For many years, a market was maintained designed so that a few could obtain the greatest possible profits at the expense of people’s health, even their lives,” he emphasized.