Final Determination Regarding Partially Hydrogenated Oils (Removing Trans Fat)
Yesterday, June 16, 2015 FDA released its’ final determination that Partially Hydrogenated Oils (PHOs) are not Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS). The determination is based on extensive research into the effects of PHOs, as well as input from stakeholders during the public comment period.
PHOs are the primary dietary source of artificial trans fat in processed foods. Removing PHOs from processed foods could prevent thousands of heart attacks and deaths each year. To learn more about trans fat, see our Trans Fat page.
FDA has set a compliance period of three years. This will allow food companies to either reformulate products without PHOs and/or petition the FDA to permit specific uses of PHOs. Many companies have already been working to remove PHOs from processed foods and the FDA anticipates that many may eliminate them ahead of the three-year compliance date.
It’s important to note that trans fat will not be completely gone from foods because it occurs naturally in small amounts in meat and dairy products, and is present at very low levels in other edible oils.
The FDA encourages consumers seeking to reduce trans fat intake to check a food’s ingredient list to determine whether or not it contains partially hydrogenated oil.
More information about FDA's final determination:
- the press announcement from June 16, 2015
- FDA Cuts Trans Fat in Processed Foods
- Talking About Trans Fat: What You Need to Know
- FDA Blog: Protecting Consumers from Trans Fat