Obama Administration Wants To Eliminate Trans Fat For Good

WASHINGTON (AP) — There are a lot fewer trans fats in the nation’s food than there were a decade ago, but the Obama administration is moving toward getting rid of them almost entirely.

The Food and Drug Administration says Americans still eat about a gram of trans fat every day, and phasing it out could prevent 20,000 heart attacks and 7,000 deaths each year.

The FDA originally proposed in November 2013 to phase out trans fats over time. The agency says it will make a final decision by June 15.

Five things to know about trans fats and the government’s proposed effort to get rid of them:


WORST KIND OF FAT: Scientists say there are no health benefits to trans fats, which are used in processing food and in restaurants, usually to improve texture, shelf life or flavor.

Trans fats can raise levels of “bad” cholesterol and lower “good” cholesterol, increasing the risk of heart disease, the leading cause of death in the United States. Trans fats are widely considered the worst kind for your heart, even worse than saturated fats, which also can contribute to heart disease.

The fats are created when hydrogen is added to vegetable oil to make it more solid, which is why they are often called partially hydrogenated oils.


NO BLANKET BAN: To phase the fats out, the FDA made a preliminary determination in 2013 that trans fats no longer fall in the agency’s “generally recognized as safe” category, which covers thousands of additives that manufacturers can add to foods without FDA review. Once trans fats are off that list, any company that wants to use them would have to petition the agency to allow it. That would phase them out almost completely, since not many uses are likely to be allowed.

FDA officials said the agency may phase the fats out more —> Read More