The FDA announced today that partially hydrogenated oils (PHOs), the main source of trans fat in food, are not generally recognized as safe (GRAS). As explained in more detail here, foods that contain products that are not GRAS are adulterated and may not legally be sold in the U.S. without prior FDA approval.
The FDA’s decision, scheduled to be officially published on June 17, 2015, sets a three year compliance period. By June 18, 2018, companies must eliminate PHOs from the foods they sell or obtain FDA approval to continue including PHOs in their products.
The FDA instituted this three year compliance period based on input from stakeholders regarding how long it would take to eliminate PHOs from their products. It based its decision that PHOs are not GRAS on extensive research on the harmful effects of trans fats and PHOs in particular. It anticipates that removal of PHOs from processed foods will prevent thousands of heart attacks and deaths each year.
For more information, click here.
To read the pre-published decision, click here.