MSP hits out after bill to ban trans-fats falls

A LABOUR MSP hit out yesterday after his bid to bring in a new law banning dangerous trans-fats failed to attract enough support to go forward.

Health spokesman Richard Simpson had put forward proposals for "life-saving" legislation that would have banned retailers from selling products containing chemically-altered industrial vegetable oils, known as trans-fats.

His Member's Bill needed to win support from 18 MSPs, including at least one from another major party.

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However, the only non-Labour MSP to vote in favour was the Green Party's Robin Harper, meaning the bill will not proceed at Holyrood.

Dr Simpson said he was disappointed by the result, accusing the SNP of being "two-faced" and stating that Nationalist MEP Alyn Smith is pursuing similar proposals in the European Parliament.

He said: "This legislation would have helped reduce the number of Scots who die early from heart disease."

Trans-fats are commonly found in sweets, cakes, cereal and fast foods. They can lead to a build-up of fatty plaque on the arteries.

Top Scottish celebrity chef Nick Nairn and Mike Lean, professor of human nutrition at Glasgow University, both backed the bill and similar laws have already been passed in Denmark and parts of America.

Mr Smith said: "Given the extent to which the EU operates as one food market, especially for processed foods, the logical place to look into banning trans-fats is at the EU level."

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