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Study Finds Trans Fat Levels Vary in McDonald's, KFC Foods Worldwide

Statement of CSPI Executive Director Michael F. Jacobson

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The startling test results, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, of widely varying trans fat levels in deep-fried fast food, are further proof that McDonald's, KFC, and other chains could virtually eliminate trans fat in their products. Not that further proof of that was actually needed. McDonald's and KFC know that they could instantly make their fried foods more healthful. Manufacturers of packaged foods are moving away from partially hydrogenated oil in droves, but fast-food chains are largely sticking with this discredited, artificially produced ingredient.

As the accompanying review in NEJM makes plain, trans fat is implicated in an enormous number of premature deaths each year. It is sad that the Food and Drug Administration has not acted on our petition to require restaurants to disclose whether they use partially hydrogenated oil, or our petition to eliminate it altogether. Clearly in Denmark, where health authorities took decisive action to protect Danes' hearts and arteries by curbing the use of partially hydrogenated oil, McDonald's and KFC's products are much healthier there than they are here. The FDA should really be embarrassed. 

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Contact Jeff Cronin (jcronin[at]cspinet.org) or Ariana Stone (astone[at]cspinet.org).