Food and Drug Administration bans the sale of trans fat

Food and Drug Administration bans the sale of trans fat

Photo courtesy of Google Images

Daria Gershkovitch - Staff Writer

On Nov. 7 the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced a new requirement that would gradually phase out all trans fats from the American food supply by mid-2014.  The FDA has confirmed that hydrogenated oils, the source of all trans fats, are no longer recognized as safe.

Trans fat is created when hydrogen is added to vegetable oils to make it more solid and is sometimes referred to as hydrogenated oils.  This specific kind of fat is often used in restaurant cooking and processed foods to improve texture, freshness and overall taste.  The FDA’s new requirements will force all companies and eateries that produce foods with this chemical addition to reformulate their recipes.  Companies wishing to use the component must first gain approval from the FDA.  However, the FDA says the likelihood of gaining authorization to use trans fat is highly unlikely due to its correlation with heart disease.  Additionally, foods such as doughnuts, microwavable popcorn and frozen pizzas will now be considered legally banned from stores because they contain this additive.

“This act will truly make for a healthier America,” said senior Kinsey Marker.  “I have not eaten fried foods for over eight years due to the health effects trans fats can cause.  I believe the ban of trans fat is a huge leap forward for our country.”

According to the American Heart Association, trans fat is detrimental to human health and well being.  The consumption of this ingredient can cause a rise in the levels of low-density lipoprotein, or “bad” cholesterol and increased risks of developing heart disease, having a stroke and developing type two diabetes.  According to Margret Hamburg, the commissioner of the FDA, this act could potentially eliminate 20,000 heart attacks as well as 2,000 deaths per year.

FDA officials claim they have been working on prohibiting trans fat for the past 15 years.  Since President Obama came into office back in 2009, the FDA has been working to collect data in order to justify a possible injunction.  According to the Wall Street Journal, the final ruling of the FDA will not go into effect until after a 60-day comment period, after which the FDA will determine how remaining trans fat must be abolished.