FDA: Partially Hydrogenated Oils Must Be Removed from Food Products Within 3 Years — Physician’s First Watch

Medical News |
June 17, 2015

FDA: Partially Hydrogenated Oils Must Be Removed from Food Products Within 3 Years

By Kristin J. Kelley

Edited by David G. Fairchild, MD, MPH, and Lorenzo Di Francesco, MD, FACP, FHM

Food manufacturers must remove partially hydrogenated oils — the major source of artificial trans fats in processed foods — from their products within 3 years, the FDA has announced.

The agency finalized its determination, first proposed in 2013, that partially hydrogenated oils are not "generally recognized as safe" for human consumption. This action — in part a response to citizen petitions and based on data linking trans-fat consumption to health risks — will reduce coronary heart disease and prevent thousands of fatal myocardial infarctions per year, the FDA predicts.

After June 18, 2018, companies must petition the agency for approval to add partially hydrogenated oils to their products.

Reader Comments (2)

cindy

I agree with Dr. Wilson, young kids (and getting younger by the day) are just loving the pot stance our government has taken Young brains cannot comprehend what pot is doing to their brains long term. Why isn't the government sticking it's nose into how the use of pot is the cause for the great dumming down of Americans. Everyday you see or hear people who cannot even speak nor write the correct words, nor spell them either in the TV crawls. Stop worrying about the fats and start worrying about what dum dums are coming out of our youth.

Stephen A Wilson, MD, MPH, FAAFP Physician, Family Medicine/General Practice, University of Pittsburgh/UPMC St Margaret

Foods are drugs by broadest definition. FDA bans a food for projected protective health benefits. Smoking cigarettes has a much tighter and clearly link to poor health outcome. Cigarettes are not illegal. Alcohol is responsible for more years of productive life lost than any other substance. It is only slightly regulated. The evidence of negative impact of Marijuana on young people brains (cognitive, emotional, psychological, decision making) is growing, as are the number of ways to make it more potent (e.g., "blasting"). It is being legalized and made more available for consumption. The science on these 3 drugs is far clearer than that of trans fats, yet none are banned.

The FDA is regulating food for potential outcomes (and statements like "generally considered") and leaving drugs known to cause actual negative outcomes readily available and able to expand their markets. This is not supporting trans fats; however, there should be clear outcomes driven science and consistency of what gets regulated, banned etc. There have been other villainous, boogeyman foods in the past, e.g., butter, eggs (margarine was even promoted!). If food is to be policed and regulated as drug there should be clear outcomes science, transparency of the process, and consistent application of the process.

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