Did you hear the news?
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has removed certain trans fats' status as generally recognized as safe (GRAS). Without GRAS status, manufacturers will not be able to use trans fats in their products anymore. They will have 3 years to phase these oils out of the foods they make. During those 3 years, the food manufacturers will be able to reformulate their products to be free of artificial trans fats, or they can petition the FDA to allow them to use trans fats in a particular way in their products. According to the FDA, "Following the compliance period, no PHOs can be added to human food unless they are otherwise approved by the FDA."
So, exactly which trans fats are we talking about?
The FDA has described partially-hydrogenated oils as the trans fats that are now considered unsafe. These oils are a major source of the artificial trans fats that have been linked with chronic disease, especially heart disease and heart attacks. In fact, the FDA asserts that partially-hydrogenated oils are "the primary dietary source of artificial trans fat in processed foods."
Since many food manufacturers have already been working to phase out trans fats, the FDA anticipates that many will become compliant with the new rules before the 3 year time limit is up.
For More Information:
- FDA Press Release: The FDA takes step to remove artificial trans fats in processed foods
- Final Notice by the Federal Register: Final Determination Regarding Partially Hydrogenated Oils
- Center for Science in the Public Interest: FDA: Artificial Trans Fat Not Safe for Use in Food
- Food Politics Blog: The FDA’s latest move on trans fats
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