FDA tells food producers to cut the trans fat



Food manufacturers will no longer be allowed to include partially hydrogenated oils (PHOs) in human food when a new requirement by the Food and Drug Administration becomes effective.

The FDA finalized its determination that PHOs, which are the primary dietary source of artificial trans fat in processed foods, are not “generally recognized as safe” for use in human food. This action was preceded by the FDA having requested comment on a tentative version of the determination in a Nov. 8, 2013 notice.

©Mark Poprocki/

“This determination is based on extensive research into the effects of PHOs, as well as input from all stakeholders received during the public comment period,” said Susan Mayne, Ph.D., director of the FDA’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, in a written statement.

The order follows the FDA’s requirement that food manufacturers include trans fat content information on nutrition facts labels, which became effective in 2006. Currently, the FDA allows companies to state on the labels of foods containing less than 0.5 grams of trans fat per serving that such foods are made with 0 grams of trans fat.

The FDA’s new requirement “is expected to reduce coronary heart disease and prevent thousands of fatal heart attacks every year,” said the FDA’s Acting Commissioner Stephen Ostroff in the written statement.

The agency is giving food producers 3 years to remove PHOs from their products and/or petition the FDA to permit specific uses of PHOs. A notice of the order is scheduled to be published in the Federal Register tomorrow (June 17, 2015).

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