Last Updated: December 19, 2013
Topic: Partially Hydrogenated Oils
FDA has made a tentative determination that partially hydrogenated oils may no longer be considered “generally recognized as safe”.
FDA has made a tentative determination that partially hydrogenated oils may no longer be considered “generally recognized as safe”. This is not a new rule, but rather the start of a regulatory process intended to further reduce consumption of trans fats. According to FDA, the mean intake of industrially produced trans fat has already decreased significantly over the past 10 years since the Agency instituted mandatory trans fat labeling.
FDA is currently accepting comments from stakeholders and the public until early March 2014. Following the close of the comment period, FDA will spend time to carefully review the comments and information that have been provided to them and make a determination. If FDA finalizes its decision to alter the regulatory status of partially hydrogenated oils, there will be implications for the oils supply chain and companies may need to reformulate their products.
In order to make sure the products retain the quality consumers have come to expect, companies will need to conduct product and shelf life testing. The change in formulation will be accompanied by labeling changes that will necessitate packaging modifications. FDA would likely provide adequate time for the food industry to make these product, packaging, and supply chain changes. For example, when FDA enacted the trans fat labeling regulation, the food industry was given nearly three years to update appropriate packaging. Given the scope of this decision, FDA would likely grant significantly more time than this to comply.
NCA is working with our members in the confectionery industry to understand the impact of this proposal and plans to submit comments to FDA. Read the Federal Register Notice.