The role of the Task Force was to provide the Minister of Health with concrete recommendations and strategies to effectively eliminate or reduce processed trans fats in Canadian foods to the lowest level possible by:
- providing by the Spring of 2005 guidance for the food processing and food service industries on interim actions to effectively eliminate or reduce processed trans fats in Canadian foods to the lowest level possible;
- making recommendations by the Spring of 2005 regarding public education and labelling in order to enable consumers to play a role in reducing their own trans fats intake;
- providing recommendations within one year for the introduction and widespread use of healthy alternatives to trans fat-containing oils and fats in order to achieve the objective of effectively eliminating or reducing processed trans fats in Canadian foods to the lowest level possible;
- providing recommendations within one year for an appropriate regulatory framework to achieve the effective elimination of processed trans fat and to support minimizing the content of all trans fat in foods in Canada.
In preparing its recommendations, the Task Force was to provide:
- an overview of the health implications of identified alternatives through an assessment of the health benefits and risks of each alternative;
- an evaluation of the ability of alternatives to meet quality and consumer acceptability needs for various product applications;
- an evaluation of the implications of each trans fat alternative on the food supply chain (e.g. seed growers, oil processors/suppliers, distributors, manufacturers, retailers and consumers);
- the appropriate minimum level of trans fat achievable in foods in Canada;
- the appropriate phase-in period taking into account the time required to increase the supply of alternatives to meet demand and the time required to reformulate food products;
- an assessment of the trade implications of the proposed Canadian strategy on food imports/exports.