FDA working towards total trans-fat ban

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Friday, November 8, 2013 - 9:47am

This is a major shakeup in the food industry -- one that could have a very real effect on what is in the food that we all eat, everything from frozen pizza to microwavable popcorn.

Trans fats have slowly been phased out of some food for years but this may really be its end game. The FDA's says that trans fats are no longer quote "generally recognized as safe," is the real first step toward potentially taking these fats completely off the market, affecting a lot of food.

Trans fats are partially hydrongenated oils found in many processed foods like margarine, coffee creamer, and many desserts. They are usually put in foods to make the shelf life longer, but the FDA says trans fats are potentially dangerous to our health. They can boost bad cholesterol, a risk factor for heart disease.

The food industry has long known the detrimental health effects, but until now there has been no blanket-wide ban on them. The ruling by the FDA still has to be finalized. The agency has opened up a 60-day period of comment and review, where it will hear plans for substitutions from food manufacturers on how they will go forward if the FDA determination is finalized, but once this is final trans fats likely will be eliminated from food products.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says this move by the FDA has the potential to prevent 10,000-20,000 heart attacks each year.


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