Let us celebrate another small hurdle jumped! The U.S. Food and Drug Administration proposed a rule change that would eliminate trans fats from all processed foods. Ideally, you shouldn’t be eating processed foods at all, but removing trans fats will at least make eating a little easier on the heart.
The FDA plan will require the food industry to gradually phase out all partially hydrogenated oils, since they deem them a threat to people’s health. Commissioner Margaret Hamburg said the move could prevent 20,000 heart attacks and 7,000 deaths each year.
Of course the FDA needs to contend with how this will affect Big Food’s already deep pockets. So the agency isn’t yet setting a timeline for the phase-out, but it will collect comments for two months before officials determine how long it will take. Different foods may have different timelines, depending on how easy it is to find a substitute or how convenient it is for the manufacturer.
“We want to do it in a way that doesn’t unduly disrupt markets,” says Michael Taylor, FDA’s deputy commissioner for foods.
Though trans fats have been removed from many items, the fats are still found in processed foods, including in some microwave popcorns and frozen pizzas, refrigerated doughs, cookies, and ready-to-use frostings. You should not even buy this crap.
They are also sometimes used by restaurants that use the fats for frying. Many larger chains have phased them out, but smaller restaurants may still get food containing trans fats from suppliers.
The FDA said trans fat intake has dropped to one gram per day in 2012, down from 4.6 grams per day in 2006.
Read more here.
Maryam Henein is an investigative journalist, professional researcher, and producer of the award-winning documentary Vanishing of the Bees.
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