business news in context, analysis with attitude

The World Health Organization (WHO) is reported to be “launching an initiative to eliminate trans fats from diets globally, pressing makers of foods and oils, and governments, to accelerate work to prevent hundreds of thousands of deaths from heart disease each year,” according to the Wall Street Journal.

The story notes that trans fats, “often in the form of partially hydrogenated food oils,” became more prevalent as processed food became more popular after World War II. However, in countries with a progressive approach to regulation - such as the US, Canada and parts of Europe - they’ve been eliminated by manufacturers, often because of their use has been restricted through governmental intervention. But in places with a more lax approach to regulation, the story says, they are more widely used, often by local producers - and those nations tend to have populations with more health issues, such as diabetes and high cholesterol.
KC's View:
It’d be nice if manufacturers would do the right thing even without regulation. But I guess that’s one rationale for why sometimes we need regulation.