GLOBAL – The Trans Fat Elimination Technical Advisory Committee (TFATAG), the World Health Organization’s (WHO) main advisory group that offers recommendations on the issuance of the WHO Validation certificate, is looking for up to 12 experts to join its Committee. 

The WHO announced the REPLACE action framework for TFA elimination as a roadmap for national action in 2018, setting the elimination of industrially produced TFA as a priority target to be accomplished by 2023 as part of the targets for its 13th General Programme of Work.

In order to help Member States replace industrially generated TFA in their national food supplies with healthier oils and fats, WHO released six REPLACE modules in 2019. These modules offer practical, step-by-step implementation instructions.

Consumption of trans-fatty acids (TFA) is associated with coronary heart disease and related mortality.

Only until policies are successfully and sustainably implemented and TFA generated industrially is removed from the nation’s food supply will TFA elimination policies’ health advantages be realized, says WHO.

To this end, WHO deems it necessary to formulate a procedure to assess and validate Member States’ progress in banning TFA from industrial sources in order to establish accountability and advance the cause.

The WHO Validation Programme for Trans Fat Elimination will provide Member States with a WHO Validation certificate of Trans Fat Elimination when they have a regulatory framework in place to remove industrially produced TFA from the national food supply.

In light of this, WHO creates the TFATAG to guarantee independence, scientific rigor, and transparency in decisions regarding the issuance of the WHO Validation certificate.

The TFATAG reviews and evaluates the applications submitted by Member States for the granting of the WHO Validation certificate, including any supporting documentation, and provides recommendations to the WHO on whether to grant the certificates.

All TFATAG recommendations are advisory to WHO, which has complete control over any decisions or actions that are later made regarding any suggestions, proposals, policy issues, or other topics that were taken into consideration by the TFATAG.

The Committee will be multidisciplinary, and its members will possess a variety of technical know-how, skills, and expertise related to TFA eradication. There will be up to 12 members chosen.

Individuals with expertise in food and nutrition science, food technology, food laboratory science, food control and regulations, nutrition epidemiology, and food and nutrition policy are encouraged to express their interest in working with WHO, latest by 2 December 2022.

Details for the application can be found on the WHO website.

The TFATAG typically meets once a year in person, through teleconference, and/or via videoconference. The number of in-person meetings may be changed as often as the WHO sees fit.

Additional meetings may be called by WHO as needed, including through teleconferences and/or videoconferences.

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