Today the Food And Drug Administration moved to begin the process of phasing out the use of artificial trans-fats from food. The FDA hasn’t yet set a time table for sweeping trans fats from the market. “We want to do it in a way that doesn’t unduly disrupt markets,” said Michael Taylor, FDA’s deputy commissioner for foods. Still, the “industry has demonstrated that it is by and large feasible to do.” Trans fats are considered harmful because they increase risks for heart disease by both raising bad cholesterol levels (LDL) and lowering good cholesterol (HDL). In 2006, the FDA began requiring food manufacturers to include trans fats on nutritional labels, Trans fats are mad made fats and are most often used in the making of cookies, baked goods, french fries and crackers.
The FDA announced that partially hydrogenated oils (PHOs), the primary dietary source of artificial trans fat in processed foods, are not “generally recognized as safe” for use in foods.
The agency has opened a 60-day comment period to collect additional data and to get input on how much time it might take for food manufacturers to reformulate products that currently contain artificial trans fats.
In the meantime, Hamburg said, “consumers can make healthy choices by checking trans fat levels on the nutrition facts panel on the back of processed food packages and avoiding those with trans fats.”