UN health agency aims to wipe out transfats worldwide

LONDON — The World Health Organization has released a plan to help countries wipe out transfats from the global food supply.

In a release issued Monday, the U.N. health agency said eliminating transfats is critical to preventing deaths worldwide. WHO estimates that eating transfats — commonly found in baked and processed foods — leads to the deaths of more than 500,000 people from heart disease every year.

Several countries including Denmark have already virtually eliminated transfats by introducing legal limits on the industrially-produced oils. Transfats are also naturally found in meat and dairy products.

Dr. Tom Frieden, a former director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, called transfats "an unnecessary toxic chemical that kills," noting that New York got rid of it a decade ago.