STOP TRANS FATS is a campaign aimed at encouraging consumers to stop taking trans fatty acids – artifical fats found in products like margarine, partially hydrogentated vegetable oils and vegetable shortenings – which are now known to be extremely harmful to health.
Among other things, these artificial fats cause or contribute to heart disease, obesity, diabetes and certain types of cancer.
BanTransFats focuses its efforts on influencing governments and large food companies to eliminate these harmful fats from the food chain and, in some instances, uses legal action to accomplish its mission.
For example, BanTransFats shot to prominence in 2003 when it sued Kraft in to eliminate trans fat in Oreos. BanTransFats also sued McDonald's in 2003 for misleading its customers into believing that it had switched to a lower trans fat cooking oil.
STOP TRANS FATS lacks the resources to initiate such action. Thus, the focus is on consumer education and raising public awareness about the extreme harm of products such as margarine, or foods like french fries that have been cooked with partially hydrogenated oils.
As more consumers opt for healthier alternatives, manufacturers and restaurants will automatically respond to consumer needs by making such foods available.
This is already happening in the US and Europe, where many food manufacturers and fast food companies have voluntarily reduced or eliminated trans fats from their products.
Disappointingly, however, many of these same companies do not implement similar changes in Asia and other regions, where consumer awareness is not as high.
Also disappointing is the fact that many governments are reluctant to take a firmer stance against these harmful fats. Most other countries have done little or nothing to curb their consumption or mandate food labelling.
Higher levels of consumer awareness will, hopefully, spur governments into taking more concrete action.
Trans fats, of course, are not the only harmful substances pervasive in our food supply. Equally, if not more, harmful are cooking oils that have turned rancid due to exposure to heat, light and air. Such issues will be addressed here as well.
Other commonly used food additives are causing great harm as well. STOP TRANS FATS is therefore part of a wider consumer education and public awareness campaign that also includes:
These are the initiatives of RICHARD SEAH, who has been studying natural health and natural healing for over 20 years since 1985, and writing on the subject since 1986.
My gift as a writer is that I am able to present complex issues like health – and the chemistry of fats – in a way that is easy to understand.
I am also good at research and finding information. I share what I know with you because I believe in this work.
Personally, I have benefitted greatly from adopting a more natural diet and lifestyle. I grew up weak and sickly and used to fall sick and visit the doctors every two to four weeks. Since I discovered natural health in 1985, I have not once visited the doctor nor taken any pharmaceutical drugs, not even an antibiotic or a Panadol (paracetamol).
But while I initiate these campaigns and publish these websites, I would like you to play a role as well. You can help in several ways:
Finally, a short note about location...
STOP TRANS FATS is based in Singapore, so the press commentaries posted here are about the situation in Singapore.
With minor variations, however, the issues are more or less the same throughout the world.
For example, the Singapore health authorities said recently (reported in the Singapore press on 22 Dec 2006) that there was no need to ban trans fats or impose mandatory labelling because it is “a small problem”. They argued that we should pay more attention to saturated fats.
So even if some of the articles here refer to Singapore, I hope they will be of interest and relevance to you, wherever you may be.
I hope, however, to make the information on this website as international as can be. So I would greatly appreciate if you can keep me posted about developments in your country.
Let's help, support and encourage each other to