The FDA issued a final ruling Tuesday that partially hydrogenated oils, the main source of artificial trans fat in foods, would no longer be considered “generally recognized as safe.” The agency gave manufacturers three years to phase out partially hydrogenated oils, or petition FDA to approve an exemption.
The change in GRAS status for partially hydrogenated oils was initially proposed in November 2013.
“The FDA’s action on this major source of artificial trans fat demonstrates the agency’s commitment to the heart health of all Americans,” FDA's acting commissioner Stephen Ostroff said in a press release. “This action is expected to reduce coronary heart disease and prevent thousands of fatal heart attacks every year.”
GMA issued a statement approving the extended time period for compliance:
“The delayed effective date for FDA’s Notice of Final Determination regarding the generally recognized as safe (GRAS) status of partially hydrogenated oils (PHOs) provides time needed for food manufacturers to complete their transition to suitable alternatives and/or seek food additive approval.
“GMA’s food additive petition to FDA will show that the presence of trans fat from the proposed low-level uses of partially hydrogenated oils (PHOs) is as safe as the naturally occurring trans fat present in the normal diet. Food and beverage companies have already voluntarily lowered the amount of trans fat added to food products by more than 86% and will continue lowering PHO use in foods.”
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