Last year the FDA made a preliminary determination that partially hydrogenated oils (PHOs), the main dietary source of artificial trans fat, are not “generally recognized as safe” (GRAS). If finalized, this would mean food manufacturers would no longer be able to use PHOs in their products or sell them directly to consumers without approval from the FDA.
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), removing PHOs from the American diet could prevent 10,000 to 20,000 heart attacks and 3,000 to 7,000 coronary deaths every year. The scientific literature since 2003 has confirmed that consuming any amount of trans fat results in an increased risk for coronary heart disease, and the effect is stronger than that of consuming saturated fats.
The FDA is asking for public comments and scientific data regarding the GRAS status of partially hydrogenated oils — and that’s where you come in! SDFSA is taking part in a club-wide campaign to submit comments to the FDA regarding the safety of consuming trans fat. The deadline is March 8, 2014 and it is easy to submit your comment online. (See the links below.)
Whether you are a food science student or a nutrition major, this is your chance to practice presenting a compelling, evidence-based argument on a food-related issue — and actually make a difference!
- LEAVE A COMMENT WITH THE FDA by March 8, 2014
- Read the Supplementary Information provided by the FDA, which includes scientific and historical data about the consumption of partially hydrogenated oils
- See all public comments submitted so far
- Read the CDC’s guide to trans fat and the USDA’s facts about trans fat
Have a question? Email SDFSA Legislative Officer Anjali Prasertong: firstname.lastname@example.org
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2014). Trans Fat. Retrieved from http://www.cdc.gov/nutrition/everyone/basics/fat/transfat.html
Kux, L. (2013). Tentative determination regarding partially hydrogenated oils; request for comments and for scientific data and information. Federal Register, 78(128). Retrieved from https://federalregister.gov/a/2013-26854