Politics

U.S. Orders Ban On Trans Fat

| by Sean Kelly

Over the next three years, trans fat will be removed from foods nationwide after it was determined that they were “unsafe” for consumption.

A final decision reached by the Food and Drug Administration on Tuesday ruled that partially-hydrogenated oils, the main source of trans fat, were no longer “generally recognized as safe.” The trans fat ban, according to the FDA, would aid in preventing fatal heart attacks. Food companies will have until June 2018 to comply with the FDA's ban.

I don’t know how many lives will be saved, but probably in the thousands per year when all the companies are in compliance,”Michael Jacobson, executive director of the Center for Science in the Public Interest, said. Food manufacturers have been required to display trans fat information on labels since 2006, but health experts said that hasn’t done enough to curb Americans’ consumption. 

The FDA's action on this major source of artificial trans-fat demonstrates the agency's commitment to the heart health of all Americans,” Stephen Ostroff, acting commissioner of the FDA, said. “This action is expected to reduce coronary heart disease and prevent thousands of fatal heart attacks every year.”

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Since the requirement to show trans fat info on food labels, consumption of trans fats decreased by 78 percent. 

The ban will cost the food industry $6.2 billion over the next 20 years as it “reformulates products and substitutes ingredients,” according to Bloomberg. The decrease in the amount of money spent on health care as a result of the removal of trans fats, however, will reportedly bring in $140 billion.

Sources: Bloomberg, BBC

Photo Credit: aol., Mr.TinDC/Flickr