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Heart-clogging trans fats have been slowly disappearing from grocery aisles and restaurant menus in the last decade. Now, the Food and Drug Administration is finishing the job.
The FDA plans to announce later Thursday that it will require the food industry to gradually phase out all trans fats, saying they are a threat to people's health. Commissioner Margaret Hamburg said the move could prevent 20,000 heart attacks a year and 7,000 deaths.
Trans fat is widely considered the worst kind for your heart, even worse than saturated fat, which can also contribute to heart disease. Trans fats are used both in processed food and in restaurants, often to improve the texture, shelf life or flavor of foods. They are created when hydrogen is added to vegetable oil to make it more solid, which is why they are often called partially hydrogenated oils.
Scientists say there are no health benefits to trans fats, and they can raise so-called "bad" cholesterols, increasing the risk of heart disease — the leading cause of death in the United States.
The advocacy group Center for Science in the Public Interest first petitioned FDA to ban trans fats nine years ago. The group's director, Michael Jacobson, says the move is "one of the most important lifesaving actions the FDA could take."
He says the agency should try and move quickly as it determines a timeline.
"Six months or a year should be more than enough time, especially considering that companies have had a decade to figure out what to do," Jacobson said.
reply to post by Cabin
I wonder what the food mfg. will switch to? Here's the thing; the FDA is corporate owned. So I imply that there is already some kind of replacement that meets or exceeds the profitability and performance of hydrogenated oils.
Except the new stuff will be under the radar, just like trans-fat used to be. No special labeling requirements, etc.
It's no reason to let diligence lapse folks. You need to be "on top of" what you ingest.
I highly doubt that the food mega-corps will start using lard again. It's too expensive and chemically reactive (it spoils). Waiting for the other boot to drop on this one.
Dow Chemical and DuPont are launching new seeds that promise oilseed crops with improved fatty acid profiles. The companies say the resulting vegetable oils will benefit both food makers and public health. The seeds—soybean from DuPont and canola and sunflower from Dow—yield crops with a higher proportion of monounsaturated oleic acid compared with nonenhanced versions.