The US Food and Drug Administration, with the Obama administration, have made moves against the manufacturing of trans fats in food production.
The ruling is that food companies will be required to stop using partially hydrogenated oils (PHOs). The FDA announced the ban on Tuesday saying that removing PHOs from the US food supply will save lives.
While it may not be news that “trans fat” doesn’t equate to “healthy”, the FDA wants to be clear that it isn’t a matter of moderation. Even small amounts of consumed trans fats can be harmful and PHOs are “generally not recognized as safe”.
Katie Brown is a Physician Assistant from the Great Falls Clinic. She states:
“They contribute to LDL which is bad cholesterol and elevating your LDL is the main cause of heart disease.”
What exactly are PHOs? They are “partially hydrogenated oils” made by combining vegetable oil and hydrogen. The most common use of transfats is in baked goods and fried foods because it allows solids to stay solid at high temperatures.
As you would expect, many food industries are concerned with the future ban. In 2013, the FDA released a draft of the ban. Companies including the Popcorn Institute, ConAgra, the National Frozen Pizza Institute, General Mills and the International Chewing Gum Association all voiced their concern/disapproval.
Despite the fact that the ban won’t be implemented until 2018, some companies are welcoming the change immediately. Cody Pedro, manager of Wheat Montana, says that “none of (their) products have trans fat. From (their) cinnamon rolls to (their) salad dressings, or (their) sandwiches, so it will be extremely easy for (them) to switch over.”
Taco Treat restaurants have also recently made a switch to using oils with less trans fats and aren’t concerned about cutting out PHOs completely.
It won’t just be restaurant chains affected by this change. The ban applies to all US food supply, including grocery items.