Posted November 8, 2013
 
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has announced a preliminary determination that “trans fats” or partially hydrogenated oils (PHOs) are no longer “generally recognize as safe,” according to a FDA Consumer Update available here.  The Federal Register notice is available here.
 
If the preliminary determination is finalized, PHOs would become food additives subject to premarket approval by FDA.  According to Dennis M. Keefe, Ph.D., director of FDA’s office of Food Additive Safety, if FDA determines that PHOs are not “generally recognized as safe” it could mean the “end of artificial, industrially-produced trans fats in foods.”
 
FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg said further reduction of the amount of trans fats in the American Diet could prevent an additional 20,000 heart attacks and 7,000 deaths from heart disease each year, according to a Politico article available here.
 
Leon Bruner, chief science officer for the Grocery Manufacturers Association said, “Through our efforts at product reformulation and the development of suitable alternatives, trans fats that are not naturally occurring have been drastically reduced in the food supply.”
 
FDA is accepting comments for 60 days.

 

For more information on food additives, please visit the National Agricultural Law Center’s website here.