Posted January 7, 2014
 
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has extended the comment period for its proposal to reduce trans fat in processed foods, according to the FDA’s Constituent Update, available here.  Agri-Pulse reported on the story here.  The Federal Register notice is available here.
 
While the comment period was set to end today, FDA will now accept comments until March 8. 
 
In November, FDA announced a preliminary determination that trans fats or partially hydrogenated oils are no longer “generally recognized as safe.”  If the proposal is finalized, trans fats would become food additives subject to premarket approval by FDA.  Thus, a food manufacturer wishing to sell products containing partially hydrogenated oils would require FDA’s approval.
 
It is widely known that trans fat, found in many processed foods, is linked to heart disease and many in the food industry have moved away from using trans fat in their products.  McDonald’s, for example, has eliminated trans fat from its ingredients, now using a canola blend cooking oil.  An article by Food processing, available here, discussing other companies who have reduced or eliminated partially hydrogenated oils from their products.
 
The American Heart Association applauded FDA’s proposal, saying, “[T]he scientific evidence is clear – eating food with trans fat increases production of ‘bad’ cholesterol which is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease.”

 

For more information on food safety and food labeling, please visit the National Agricultural Law Center’s website hereand here.