FDA Denies Food Industry Request to Keep Using Trans Fat in Some Foods
Statement of CSPI President Dr. Peter G. Lurie
The Food and Drug Administration’s denial today of a petition by the Grocery Manufacturers Association that sought to continue some uses for artificial trans fat in food provides welcome closure to CSPI’s long fight to eliminate this hazardous product from the American diet.
The FDA first declared, in June 2015, that artificial trans fat—which comes from partially hydrogenated oils—was no longer generally recognized as safe for use in food. That ban on using artificial trans fat in most foods is set to take effect on June 18, 2018, following decades of advocacy focused on its health risks, which include its link to heart disease. The GMA subsequently filed a petition asking for the FDA’s permission to continue using artificial trans fat for particular purposes in a range of foods. The FDA today announced that “there is a probable significant health risk” from the petitioned uses of artificial trans fat and that the petition from the GMA lacked “convincing evidence to support the conclusion that the proposed uses of [trans fat] are safe.” (Industry will be allowed some modest manufacturing and petitioned uses, but these are to be phased out between 2019 and 2021.)
We agree. We are glad that the FDA concurs that the GMA failed to present a convincing case. It is time to move on to the task of removing this dangerous additive from the American food supply once and for all.