In a bold move, the Food and Drug Administration has set the stage for the possible removal of all trans fats from food products. Although there is a long road ahead if such a decision eventually becomes the law of the land, the FDA believes that taking action against trans fat is an important step toward ensuring public safety.
People have long been worrying about the health implications of trans fats, which could make a person more susceptible to coronary heart disease, the impetus for many a heart attack. The CDC believes that reducing the availability of trans fats in food could eliminate a whopping 20,000 heart attacks and 7,000 fatalities on an annual basis.
Food typically gets its trans fat content from partially hydrogenated oils, or PHOs. Among the trans fat-heavy items that could be in your cupboard and refrigerator right now are such things as frozen pizza, dough, frosting, snack foods, cookies, cake, and more.
For the first time ever, the FDA wants to move away from classifying PHOs as being generally recognized as safe, and the agency has issued a notice to the federal register to denote this new proposed classification. If the FDA’s decision is finalized, all PHOs would need to be approved before they would be allowed into food. That means that until a PHO is designated as safe, it could not be a part of a processed food.