Trans fat legislation and considerations

Rob Davidson made this Freedom of Information request to Food and Environmental Hygiene Department

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Dear Food and Environmental Hygiene Department,

Please can you provide me with any documents relating to considerations of trans-fats within foods sold for consumption within Hong Kong. You may be aware that trans-fats have for a few years been considered unacceptable as ingredients for human consumption in many countries and I would like to become aware of Hong Kong's political considerations on this subject. For example, has trans-fat been discussed by your department? Has regulation of these ingredients been discussed? Is there any legislation that would cover trans-fat usage in human food in Hong Kong?

I have tried to contact various food producers in Hong Kong but they respond to say that they will not provide any information or they do not respond at all.

Yours faithfully,

Rob Davidson

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Food and Environmental Hygiene Department

Dear Mr Davidson,

Thank you for your application for access to information dated 15.6.2015 on
"Trans fat legislation and considerations".

Kindly note that your request is being processed and we will revert to you
as soon as possible.

for Director of Food and Environmental Hygiene

Food and Environmental Hygiene Department

Dear Mr Davidson,

Reference is made to your application for access to information dated
15.6.2015 on "Trans fat legislation and considerations".

Further to our department’s Mr Eric CHEUNG’s interim reply of 22.6.2015
(local Hong Kong time), our substantive reply is as follows:

Our department’s Centre for Food Safety (CFS) has been closely monitoring
the latest international developments on the regulatory control on trans
fats and noted that the US Food and Drug Administration has recently issued
an order announcing that partially hydrogenated oils (PHOs) are no longer
GRAS (generally recognized as safe) under any condition of use in food and
therefore are food additives subject to control in foods available for sale
in the US from 18 June 2018 onwards.

At present, there is no specific regulation that restricts the trans fatty
acid (TFA) content in food in Hong Kong. That said foods for sale in Hong
Kong must comply with the Public Health and Municipal Services Ordinance
(Cap. 132) and since 1 July 2010, TFA content must be listed on the
nutrition labels of all applicable prepackaged foods in accordance with the
Food and Drugs (Composition and Labelling) Regulations (Cap. 132W):

Nutrition claims on TFA (“Free of trans fat”) in prepackaged foods should
also conform to the relevant conditions stipulated in Cap. 132W. The
subject of labelling of transfat was discussed in the Legislative Council
during the passage of this legislation. The report of the Subcommittee on
Food and Drugs (Amendment: Requirements for Nutrition Labelling and
Nutrition Claim) Regulation 2008 can be accessed at:

and related papers are available at:

You may refer to these papers and other LegCo records for further

In addition, the CFS also released a set of Trade Guidelines on Reducing
Trans Fats in Food in 2008 with a view to encouraging the trade and
assisting them in reducing TFA content in their food products:

If we can be of any assistance in the provision of other information in the
future, please do not hesitate to contact us again.

Collin CHAN
for Director of Food and Environmental Hygiene