Health Canada is proposing to eliminate partially hydrogenated oils (PHOs) from foods sold in Canada.

  • The use of partially hydrogenated oils (PHOs) in foods has come under scrutiny in the past several years.  For example, as previously covered on this blog, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced on June 16, 2015 that there is no longer a consensus among qualified experts that partially hydrogenated oils (PHOs) are generally recognized as safe (GRAS) under any conditions of use in food.  Following FDA’s action, the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) submitted a food additive petition to FDA seeking approval of specific low-level uses of PHOs, up to a maximum consumption level of 1.5% of a person’s daily energy.  This petition is still pending.  In the meantime, other jurisdictions, like neighboring Canada, have sought to address the use of PHOs food.
  • On October 24, 2016, Canada’s Minister of Health launched the Healthy Eating Strategy for Canada.  One initiative highlighted in the Healthy Eating Strategy involves the elimination of industrially produced trans fats in foods available in the Canadian marketplace.  To support this initiative, Health Canada has launched a 60-day consultation on its proposal to eliminate the use of PHOs (the main source of industrially produced trans fats) in foods sold in Canada.
  • Health Canada will be accepting comments on its proposal to prohibit the use of PHOs in foods sold in Canada through January 13, 2017.