Washington — Citing Institute of Medicine research indicating that partially hydrogenated oils (PHOs) have no known health benefit, the FDA has determined trans fats “are not generally recognized as safe” in food.
“While consumption of potentially harmful trans fat has declined over the past two decades in the US, current intake remains a significant public health concern,” FDA Commissioner Margaret A. Hamburg, MD, says, noting further reduction could prevent an additional 20,000 heart attacks and 7,000 deaths from heart disease each year.
The agency will publish a notice in the November 8 Federal Register announcing a 60-day comment period on its preliminary determination during which it will collect additional scientific data and solicit input from food manufacturers about reformulating products that contain PHOs.
In the event FDA issues a final determination, manufacturers would need prior approval from the agency to use PHOs as a food additive before they could use them in food products.
Electronic comments and scientific research can be submitted to regulations.gov through January 6, 2014.