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 National

UPS hiring 95K temp workers for holiday season

ups

UPS is almost doubling the number of seasonal employees for this year's holiday shopping season.

in National, World

Obama to deploy troops as Ebola crisis worsens

ebola

The U.S. announced a ramped-up plan to help tackle the Ebola outbreak, including a major deployment in Liberia.

in Trending, Viral Videos

TODAY’S MUST SEE: Sesame Street’s ‘Star S’mores’ trailer

23-overlay2

Sesame Street has its own take on "Star Wars" and it's adorable, funny, creative ... and makes us want to be a kid again.

in National

FCC sees record feedback on ‘net neutrality’

net

The FCC has received a record number of comments from consumers and lawmakers on proposed new Internet traffic rules.

in National

115K could lose Obamacare insurance over immigration

obamacare

People in 36 states could lose their health insurance under Obamacare, because of problems involving citizenship.