Joint WHO–EEC workshop on food policies for the prevention of noncommunicable diseases

25–26 February 2019, Moscow, Russian Federation

WHO/Europe and the Eurasian Economic Commission (EEC) will hold a joint workshop on food policies for the prevention of noncommunicable diseases on 25–26 February 2019. The workshop will bring together policy-makers and regulators from the EEC and the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) with experts from WHO to discuss nutrition labelling, salt reduction, nutrition and health claims, and trans fat elimination.

Participants will focus on:

  • country experience, including the scope and criteria of policies adopted;
  • potential barriers to implementation and compliance, and ways of overcoming them;
  • approaches to monitoring and evaluating policies and enforcement mechanisms; and
  • modalities for future collaboration and specific priorities for technical support.

Background

The elimination of industrial trans fats in foods is a priority target of WHO’s 13th General Programme of Work (GPW13). The GPW13 will guide the Organization’s work in 2019–2023 and help to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.

Diets high in trans fat increase heart disease risk by 21% and deaths by 28%. Replacing trans fats with unsaturated fatty acids decreases the risk of heart disease.

The EAEU has already made good progress in this regard. It imposed a ban on the use of industrial trans-fatty acids in many processed food products. As of January 2018, Customs Union technical regulation TR CU 024/2011 on oil and fat products also came into full force. This regulation, approved by decision No. 883 of the Customs Union Commission in 2011, sets limits on the content of trans fats. Hard margarines, soft and liquid margarines, milk fat substitutes and fats for special purposes must not make up more than 2% of the total fat content in a food product.

Each of the EAEU countries has an authorized body for ensuring state supervision of compliance with the requirements of EAEU technical regulations. Nevertheless, recent monitoring by WHO/Europe revealed very high amounts of industrial trans fats in commonly available foods in some countries of the EAEU.

The working languages of the meeting will be English and Russian.