2013-12-11 12:01:10 - On 8 November 2013 the US FDA published a measure which will reduce Trans Fat in processed foods. The comment period for this proposal ends on 7 January 2014.
US FDA has made a preliminary determination that Partially Hydrogenated Oils (PHOs) are the primary source of trans fat and should no longer be considered Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS). If the GRAS status of an ingredient is revoked, products with this ingredient would be required to remove that ingredient or petition the ingredient as a food additive and prove that it is safe for the level being used. When the US FDA required trans fat to be listed in the Nutrition Facts panel they stated that no level of trans fat is safe and therefore no food additive petition would be approved.
US Regulations on Processed Food
Some US jurisdictions, such as the State of California, Baltimore and Montgomery County in
Maryland and New York City have imposed restrictions on the use of trans fats in some products. Other countries of the world such as the Danish and Canadian government have imposed restrictions on the allowable amount of trans fats in products containing PHOs. The US FDA does acknowledge that the amount of trans fat being consumed from products containing PHOs has fallen from 4.6g per day in 2003 to 1.0g per day in 2012. US FDA is stating if PHOs are removed from the food supply this could prevent 7,000 deaths and over 20,000 heart attaches per year.
The US FDA is seeking scientific evidence to see if there is a level of PHOs that could be used in some products and if PHOs GRAS status is revoked how quickly products that contain this ingredient could be reformulated.
(1) Federal Register: Tentative Determination Regarding Partially Hydrogenated Oils; Request for Comments and for Scientific Data and Information (www.federalregister.gov/articles/2013/11/08/2013-26854/tentative ..
(2) US FDA Opens 60-day Comment Period on Measure to Further Reduce Trans Fat in Processed Foods ( www.fda.gov/Food/NewsEvents/ConstituentUpdates/ucm373925.htm
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