FDA Bans Artificial Trans Fats

Food manufacturers must soon stop using what Harvard University has called “the worst fat.” Here’s why.

It’s official: The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has banned partially hydrogenated oils after making a preliminary decision to do so in 2013.

The FDA, the federal agency responsible for regulating the nation’s food supply, announced today that it has finalized its decision to no longer classify partially hydrogenated oils as a food ingredient that is “generally recognized as safe” by the FDA.

Partially hydrogenated oils are the main source of artificial trans fats.

The FDA is giving food manufacturers three years to comply by removing partially hydrogenated oils from their foods, or to petition the FDA to allow specific uses of these oils.

Dr. Stephen Ostroff, FDA acting commissioner, states in a press release issued today:

“The FDA’s action on this major source of artificial trans fat demonstrates the agency’s commitment to the heart health of all Americans. This action is expected to reduce coronary heart disease and prevent thousands of fatal heart attacks every year.”

The FDA’s decision is based on a thorough review of the scientific evidence, according to the release.

The Harvard School of Public Health has called trans fats “the worst fat for the heart, blood vessels, and rest of the body.”

Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It kills more than 611,000 people every year.

To learn more about the dangers of trans fats and how to determine whether a food contains them, check out “Trans Fat: When Cheap Means Costly.”

What do you think of the FDA decision? Is the government going too far, or not far enough? Let us know below or on Facebook.

Stacy Johnson

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