Libby urges the government to limit trans fats

House of Commons
February 7, 2012

You can view Libby asking this question here:

Ms. Libby Davies (Vancouver East, NDP):
When it comes to putting the health of Canadians first, Conservatives are failing on every front.

Trans fats are the leading cause of heart disease and high cholesterol. This is something that particularly affects children. The House agreed to the NDP motion to regulate and limit this dangerous substance.

Why is the health minister now ignoring expert advice and siding yet again with industry, instead of acting to protect the health of Canadians?

Hon. Leona Aglukkaq (Minister of Health and Minister of the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency, CPC):
Mr. Speaker, our government continues to make prevention and health promotion a priority. That includes reducing trans fat in foods. Results from the trans fat monitoring program show that we are making real progress, as close to three-quarters of pre-packaged foods under review met the reduction targets. I have also instructed my department to continue its engagement with stakeholders to identify the challenges and how best to overcome them without adding a regulatory burden.

Ms. Libby Davies (Vancouver East, NDP):
Mr. Speaker, the truth is that the government is always full of the excuses given to it by industry. The government had a chance to help families but it failed to act.

Health experts are clear, the provinces are onboard and families are trying to make healthier choices for their kids. In fact, there was a plan in place but the large food companies complained and, guess what, the minister killed it.

In 2009 the minister wrote, “further action is needed”. Can the minister tell us if she was wrong then or if she is wrong now?