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FDA Vs. Trans Fats: The Final Round

Image courtesy of Flickr user Terre’s Photos

Over 30 years worth of effort led by health advocates is finally taking official standing. As of early November, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is looking to completely ban artificial trans fats from the food supply.


Artificial trans fats have already been reduced in foods all across the country, but they are still prevalent in foods like frostings, frozen pizzas, and creamers. Not only would this policy decrease the all-too standard norm of obesity in America, but it will also promote better health, preventing over 20,000 heart attacks and 7,000 deaths from heart disease each year.


This new step isn’t official yet: bills still need to be drawn up in which the FDA propose that partially hydrogenated oils, the source of trans fats, can no longer be “generally recognized as safe.” Companies whose products rely on said trans fats will obviously try to fight for their tasty affects, but statistics like their correlation with heart disease and high cholesterol—and their obvious lack of nutritional value—won’t help their case too much.


The Institute of Medicine has also endorsed the move towards banning the additive, saying that in the end there is no safe level for consumption of trans fats, a conclusion that the FDA will cite in its case. Michael Jacobson, the Center for Science in the Public Interest’s executive director, was quoted stating that, “Not only is artificial trans fat not safe, it’s not remotely necessary….companies, large and small, have switched to healthier oils over the past decade. I hope that those restaurants and food manufacturers that still use this harmful ingredient see the writing on the wall and promptly replace it.”


So why, if it’s so clearly bad for us, did the FDA take so long to ban trans fat? Some answer with the excuse for bad timing: the health “revolution” seemed to coincidentally occur on an election year. Whatever the reason, the FDA is finally directing its full attention towards trans fats, highlighting our country’s move towards healthier standards, and hopefully, ones that are equally as delicious.

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FDA Vs. Trans Fats: The Final Round