The FDA is expected to announce a final rule that could effectively eliminate most trans fat from food in the United States. In 2013 the FDA announced its preliminary finding that partially hydrogenated oils (PHOs) – – the source of most trans fatty acids in American’s foods – – are not generally recognized as safe (GRAS) for use in any food. If the FDA makes final its preliminary finding, PHOs will no longer enjoy GRAS status and will be subject to greater scrutiny by the FDA.
The regulation of trans fats can be traced back to 1999 when the FDA first proposed that manufacturers be required to declare the number of grams of trans fat on their nutrition labels. Due to growing public health concerns, the FDA finalized this rule in 2006. That rule resulted in reduced amounts of trans fat in food products. A final rule that strips trans fat of GRAS status would subject food products with trans fat to greater scrutiny and may effectively eliminate all trans fat from those products.