- The Food and Drug Administration announced Tuesday that it would be mandating food companies to remove partially hydrogenated oils (PHOs) — the main source of artificial trans fats — from products, with three years to do so.
- The FDA completed this determination that PHOs were not deemed generally recognized as safe (GRAS) that began in 2013.
- With the three-year compliance timeline, companies can make changes to ingredients as well as ask for FDA approval for certain PHO use. However, post-compliance period, none can be put in human food without FDA approval.
The move isn't a surprise. Trans fats have consistently been the villain in consumers' and health experts minds, and now, they'll be almost completely gone.
"This determination is based on extensive research into the effects of PHOs, as well as input from all stakeholders received during the public comment period," said Susan Mayne, director of the FDA’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, in a news release.
However, food companies won't give up without a fight for certain trans fat uses. The Grocery Manufacturers Association and companies are looking to petition the FDA if a "reasonable certainty of no harm" could exist in special cases.
While this is seen as a success in the eyes of the general public, for the industry, it means more research and development, marketing, and packaging dollars to keep on trend — and up to legal standards.