News

FDA wants to ban trans-fat

FDA wants to ban trans-fat

TRANS-FAT BAN: The FDA wants the oils out of processed foods. Photo: Reuters

By Toni Clarke and Ros Krasny

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Thursday proposed banning artificial trans fat in processed food, a move that was welcomed by public health advocates but which rattled vegetable oil markets and pushed prices down sharply.

The FDA said reducing partially hydrogenated oils (PHOs) from the American diet could prevent 7,000 deaths from heart disease each year.

If its proposal becomes final, the oils, the primary dietary source of artificial trans fat, would be considered food additives and could not be used in food unless authorized.

The ruling would not affect naturally occurring trans fat that occurs in small amounts in certain meat and dairy products, the agency said.

The FDA’s proposal is subject to a 60-day public comment period.

Trans fats are common in a wide range of processed foods including crackers and cookies, frozen pizza and refrigerated dough, coffee creamers and ready-to-use frosting, said Mical Honigfort, a consumer safety officer at FDA.

The American Heart Association lauded the actions as a step forward in battling heart disease.

“We commend the FDA for responding to the numerous concerns and evidence submitted over the years about the dangers of this industrially produced ingredient,” the AHA’s Nancy Brown said in a statement.

Hydrogenation is a chemical process that converts liquid vegetable oils into solid or semi-solid fats, which are preferred for baking and have a longer shelf life.

The dominant vegetable oil used in the United States is soybean oil. The FDA’s announcement sparked a rapid sell-off in Chicago soyoil futures prices by creating uncertainty about its impact on vegetable oil demand.

Soyoil fell by about 1.5 percent to 40.52 cents per pound, its lowest level since October 29, in heavy trading.

Recent Headlines

in Lifestyle, National

Macy’s test stores to offer deals at ‘Backstage’ prices

macys

The retailer will open the first of four "discount" stores this fall in NYC.

in National

Huckabee enters the race, Hillary calls for path to citizenship

huckabee

Republican Mike Huckabee entered the race for his party's 2016 presidential nomination on Tuesday, while Democrat Hillary Clinton supported a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants.

in National, Sports

Elder Boston bomber was cruel, controlling

bostonbomberaunt

Defense lawyers continue to make their case that Dzhokhar Tsarnaev should be sentenced to life in prison rather than death.

in National

Senate slated to vote on GOP budget compromise

congress

The Senate is poised to approve a compromise Republican budget that makes deep cuts in spending while boosting Pentagon accounts by an additional $38 billion next year.

in National, World

ISIS claims responsibility for Texas Mohammad cartoon attack

garlandattack

Federal agents for years monitored one of the two gunmen who were shot dead after opening fire with assault rifles at a heavily guarded Texas exhibit of caricatures of the Prophet Mohammad.