No more trans fat: FDA banning the artery-clogger

Organization says prohibition could prevent 7,000 deaths each year
Associated Press
Nov 7, 2013

 

Heart-clogging trans fats were once a staple of the American diet, plentiful in baked goods, microwave popcorn and fried foods. Now, mindful of the health risks, the Food and Drug Administration is getting rid of what's left of them for good.

Condemning artificial trans fats as a threat to public health, the FDA announced Thursday it will require the food industry to phase them out.

Manufacturers already have eliminated many trans fats, responding to criticism from the medical community and to local laws, Even so, the FDA said getting rid of the rest — the average American still eats around a gram of trans fat a day — could prevent 20,000 heart attacks and 7,000 deaths each year.

It won't happen right away. The agency will collect comments for two months before determining a phase-out timetable. Different foods may have different schedules, depending how easy it is to find substitutes.

"We want to do it in a way that doesn't unduly disrupt markets," said Michael Taylor, FDA's deputy commissioner for foods. Still, he says, the food "industry has demonstrated that it is, by and large, feasible to do."

Indeed, so much already has changed that most people won't notice much difference, if any, in food they get at groceries or restaurants.

Scientists say there are no health benefits to trans fats. And they can raise levels of "bad" cholesterol, increasing the risk of heart disease, the leading cause of death in the United States. Trans fats are widely considered the worst kind for your heart, even worse than saturated fats, which also can contribute to heart disease.

Trans fats are used both in processed food and in restaurants, often to improve the texture, shelf life or flavor of foods. Though they have been removed from many items, the fats are still found in some baked goods such as pie crusts and biscuits and in ready-to-eat frostings that use the more-solid fats to keep consistency.

They also are sometimes used by restaurants for frying. Many larger chains have phased them out, but smaller restaurants may still get food containing trans fats from suppliers.

How can the government get rid of them? The FDA said it has made a preliminary determination that trans fats no longer fall in the agency's "generally recognized as safe" category, which covers thousands of additives that manufacturers can add to foods without FDA review. Once trans fats are off the list, anyone who wants to use them would have to petition the agency for a regulation allowing it, and that would likely not be approved.

The fats are created when hydrogen is added to vegetable oil to make it more solid, which is why they are often called partially hydrogenated oils. The FDA is not targeting small amounts of trans fats that occur naturally in some meat and dairy products, because they would be too difficult to remove and aren't considered a major public health threat on their own.

Many companies have already phased out trans fats, prompted by new nutrition labels introduced by FDA in 2006 that list trans fats and by an increasing number of local laws, like one in New York City, that have banned them. In 2011, Wal-Mart pledged to remove all artificial trans fats from the foods the company sells by 2016. Recent school lunch guidelines prevent them from being served in cafeterias.

In a statement, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg said it was his city's 2008 ban that led to much of the change. "Our prohibition on trans fats was one of many bold public health measures that faced fierce initial criticism, only to gain widespread acceptance and support," he said.

But support is far from universal. A nationwide poll conducted by the Pew Research Center between Oct. 30 and Nov. 6 said that of the 996 adults surveyed, 44 percent were in favor of prohibiting restaurants from using trans fats while 52 percent opposed the idea.

Still, Americans are eating much less of the fat. According to the FDA, trans fat intake among Americans declined from 4.6 grams per day in 2003 to around one gram in 2012.

A handful of other countries have banned them, including Switzerland and Denmark. Other countries have enacted strict labeling laws.

Dr. Leon Bruner, chief scientist at the Grocery Manufacturers Association, said in a statement that his group estimates that food manufacturers have voluntarily lowered the amount of trans fats in food products by 73 percent.

The group, which represents the country's largest food companies, did not speculate on a reasonable timeline or speak to how difficult a ban might be for some manufacturers. Bruner said in a statement that "consumers can be confident that their food is safe, and we look forward to working with the FDA to better understand their concerns and how our industry can better serve consumers."

Said FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg: "While consumption of potentially harmful artificial trans fat has declined over the last two decades in the United States, current intake remains a significant public health concern."

Agency officials say they have been working on trans fat issues for around 15 years and have been collecting data to justify a possible phase-out since just after President Barack Obama came into office in 2009.

The advocacy group Center for Science in the Public Interest first petitioned FDA to ban trans fats nine years ago. The group's director, Michael Jacobson, says the prohibition is "one of the most important lifesaving actions the FDA could take."

"Six months or a year should be more than enough time, especially considering that companies have had a decade to figure out what to do," Jacobson said.

Comments

man_on_the_street

and yet they won't outlaw smoking which is the leading cause of heart disease in the USA, is highly addictive, and has NO benefits whatsoever. But fries, donuts and sodas over 16 ounces are EVIL.

Nemesis

Tobacco taxes are a big revenue source. For now it's profitable.

"The illusion of freedom will continue as long as it's profitable to continue the illusion. At the point where the illusion becomes too expensive to mainain, they will just take down the scenery, they will pull back the curtains, they will move the tables and chairs out of the way, and you will see he brick wall at the back of the theater"
- Frank Zappa.

muec95

do u know Google is paying 80$ per hour! Just work for few hours & spend more time with friends and family. on sunday I bought themselves a Alfa Romeo from having made $5637 this month. its the best-job Ive ever had.It sounds unbelievable but you wont forgive yourself if you don’t check it out http://goo.gl/f6e95V

Unassumer

what they really want is to cut down the overpopulation. they could care less if you kill yourself. and they want the leftover people to be healthy to do the work in the camps after China buys us out or claims the U.S. as theirs since we owe them so much money. have to make room for the Chinese to live here, so eat, drink and smoke up!

Licorice Schtick

Nah. No room for Chinese here; Mexico doesn't allow birth control, so they dump their surplus population on us.

shucks

@ Unassumer
Too late for you. Sounds like you've got a few clogged blood vessels in your brain.

shucks

@ man_on_the_street

You have to eat to live.
You don't have to smoke to live.

Nemesis

Non-sequitur.

You can choose to smoke or not to smoke.
You can choose to eat whatever you want.

The New World Czar

"We want to do it in a way that doesn't unduly disrupt markets," said Michael Taylor, FDA's deputy commissioner for foods.

Why not let states have the right to decide? Nah, makes too much sense.

Nemesis

Why not stay the heck out of it and stop trying to dictate to people what they can put into their own bodies?

Licorice Schtick

That's ridiculous. The stuff is poison, and they've been lying about it. They've been stealing people health for profit. Why stick up for liars and cheats? Corporate abuse is tyranny. Safe food enhances our freedom.

Dr. Information

And smoking cigarettes is not putting poison into ones body. Seems the government picks and chooses what it wants to ban. They won't ban smoking because the GOVERNMENT IS GETTING TO MUCH CASH FROM IT! Talk about corporate abuse and tyranny.

shucks

@ Nemesis

Do you mean like : heroin , cocaine, meth, etc... ?

Nemesis

Well..... um...... actually...... when you put it that way.....

ABSOLUTELY.

If you want to put that garbage into your own body, that's your choice. Just don't ask for my tax dollars to be used to shield you from the consequences of your choices.

Should I be able to force you to exercise? If not, why should I be able to force you, though government, to make other choices that I think are healthy?

Licorice, it's not tyranny if you have a choice. There are millions of organic/vegan hippies out there who have never touched the stuff. If you don't feel you can make these choices on your own, then go back to your Mommy and Daddy and let them choose for you; don't ask me to give up my choices because you still need a nanny. Choices enhance our freedom.

shucks

Yeah , you're on drugs.

Nemesis

What a thoughtful, logical answer - yeah, right - typical for shizzle - the best you can manage is a patently false ad hominem.

I'm sorry you feel that you need government holding a gun to your head in order to keep you from destroying your life with drugs, but some of us actually have some self control and resent having our money and rights squandered protecting those who don't from their own stupidity.

shucks

I love your comments.
You come across with the air of intelligence ,superiority , and sophistication.
The fun part is --
...every time you open your mouth , your brains fall out.

Nemesis

And yet, you're somehow never able to articulate a basis for your namecalling and personal remarks. You're like Big Dog, lots of sound bites and snide remarks, but no substance.

I discuss personal responsibility and freedom, and all you can do is falsely accuse me of using drugs. I point out that you have nothing but namecalling to offer, and you prove me right with more namecalling.

shucks

"I discuss personal responsibility and freedom...".

According to you --heroin , cocaine, meth should be legal.
You propose idiocy.
How about making texting while driving legal?

If I'm a hypocrite, so are you.

Nemesis

Why is it idiocy? People like you thought it was idiocy to end Alcohol Prohibition, too. Support your claim.

I've said nothing that's hypocritical. The inconsistency is all yours.

The Hero Zone's picture
The Hero Zone

Subtitle: "Organization says prohibition could prevent $7,000 deaths each year"

That's an expensive death!

Good 2 B Me

I was thinking the same thing. $7,000 death.

bluestreakparent76

I think they meant 47,000 deaths and they tried to capitalize the 4. lol. I guess that's what happens when you hire right out of college. :p

Licorice Schtick

That's a lot of dead dollars! A travesty!

Señor Clown

I was thinking $7,000 was almost a bargain - with funeral costs being a little closer to $10,000, and the cost of health care for someone dying of heart failure easily running well into the six-figure range...

Nemesis

Hero Zone - that quote contains an interesting choice of words.

I believe we've been told before that prohibition could prevent a lot of deaths, back in the 1920's. Instead, it gave birth to the mafia - how many deaths did THAT prevent?

How many have died because of the new prohibition - the war on drugs?

Roger15

Nice to see a Federal Bureaucracy actually take an interest in citizen health and well-being. Too late on Big Tobacco, too lax on Big Pharma and far too cozy with Big Ag's GMO "food" offerings; just now being banned in Europe and Canada. Just keep paying their salaries, folks.
God help this Nation....

Nemesis

Because you need Big Brother to keep you from making bad choices, right?

worddrow811

when anyone uses the words lifesaving, saves lives or whatever, they are trying to make us afraid of dying. Well, guess what? No fear here and where exactly do they put all these lives that they save, in a bank? Stop living in fear people, nothing is going to alter that outcome, no matter the plastic surgery, eat/don't eat, smoke/don't smoke and so on.

Do the best with what you have and enjoy the trip.

shucks

reading signs -

Right ! After you've dragged around your paralyzed body for a lifetime that suffered a stroke , you die anyway.

Maggdi

.... In the word of The Who: " If I swallow anything evil....."

Unassumer

Someone didn't proofread! 'Organization says prohibition could prevent $7,000 deaths each year'.

We all know there is no such thing as a $7000 death!

Contango

I know it’s a typo but, only $7K?

That ain’t a lot. Have ya priced a conventional funeral lately?

deertracker

Ut oh, they are coming for you Sprinkles!!!!!!!!!!!!!

rjk1915

This is a case of looking where the light is best, and explains why all our ancestors died young.

rjk1915

There's apparentlyl no such thing as a proof reader, either.

rjk1915

I've lived my life without these restrictions. I'm 98.

Dr. Information

More government oversight. Called this 3 years ago when Michelle went on the school lunch stampede. I said mark my words, the government is within reach of telling you what you can and cannot eat.

bnjjad

They have always been doing that. There are numerous things that are outlawed that are consumed just fine in other places.

Centauri

"Condemning artificial trans fats as a threat to public health,"

Get that? "Artificial" means that the trans fats are not created by nature.

Not all fats are bad for you. Some actually promote good health.

http://www.naturalnews.com/trans...
Trans fats news, articles and information:

http://www.naturalnews.com/cocon...
Coconut oil news, articles and information:

Not all coconut oils are healthy. Watch out for what the food industry claims is healthy. Some coconut oils are not healthy for you. It depends on how it is extracted. In general, healthy virgin coconut oil is white and has a scent of fresh coconuts and a mild taste of fresh coconuts.

http://www.naturalnews.com/03655...
Why virgin coconut oil is superior to highly refined, processed coconut oil

http://www.evolvingwellness.com/...
How to Choose A Coconut Oil: Comparing Best and Worst Brands

I don't see anything wrong with healthy virgin coconut oil in plastic jars.

"Organization says prohibition could prevent $7,000 deaths each year"
That 7000 deaths each year sounds like a very low figure. I am very skeptical of the FDA and their news.

For those of you looking forward to treatment of your medical conditions might want to know if your health insurance will still be there for you:
http://canadafreepress.com/index...
"Obama apologizes kind of, sort of, not really, for cancelled health insurance"
"Peddling the lie that he never said it wasn’t working, so he had to find a way to kind of sort of apologize so he could cross that off the checklist, but he had to do it in a way that didn’t really admit he was guilty of wrongdoing. Quite the parlour trick, but this is the sort of thing Obama lives for. Behold:"

Centauri

http://www.naturalnews.com/04270...
"16 million Americans to lose health care coverage under Obamacare"

deertracker

I wish you all would give it a rest. If there was as much effort put into making it work as there is in beating down the law it just might have less problems. The rhetoric is just tiresome!

shucks

Agreed. It's a good thing. Let it work , stop beating it down.

That's the basic robotic Repub and Teatard program instruction :"Beat it down".

Nemesis

Not agreed. Even very leftist media outlets like NPR openly admit that the majority of Americans are against it. To them, it's NOT a good thing, and if you thought something comparable was a bad thing, you'd be working overtime to "beat it down."

Hypocrit.

shucks

Nemesis , I'm calling you a liar and a screwball.

Dr. Information

Obamacare is nothing more than more government control. Im glad you idiots are good with more oversight from big brother.

shucks

No thanks for your paranoid insight .

Nemesis

You can call me whatever you want, saying something over and over doesn't make it true. That's all your comments ever are - ad hominems and naked assertion with no support.

shucks

"That's all your comments ever are - ad hominems and naked assertion with no support."

.........That's EXACTLY what you've done to me.

Give me proof of your NPR claim and I'll apologize.
Until then , you are a , liar , screwball , and hypocrite.

Nemesis

Well, let's see. I actually first heard it on NPR while driving home one night several weeks ago, when the reporter said "despite most polls indicating most Americans oppose [the Affordable Care Act]" and I don't remember the date, so the audio file would be hard to find.

HOWEVER, it's not hard to find the polls themselves.

a CNN poll released about the time of that broadcast shows support for the ACA below 40%
http://blog.heritage.org/2013/09...

Here is a amalgamation of the major polling organizations, with a configurable chart (scroll down) which, if you take it all the way back to the earliest point of polling on the ACA (27 Nov 2009 - click on the MAX button in the lower right hand corner of the graph.) shows that opposition has consistently exceeded support.
http://www.realclearpolitics.com...

Also, a poll done in the last week that shows 53% oppose it.
http://www.isidewith.com/poll/96...

But what about NPR reporting of these results?

Well, from this article which sounds a lot like the report I heard, http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/...
comes this:
"And this month's tracking poll from the Kaiser Family Foundation bears them out. Negative views of the law (42 percent) top positive ones (37 percent)."

Now it's your turn - you accused me of being on drugs - show me the urinalysis.

shucks

You've got nothing.
Other countries have health care.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uni...

The goal of the Republitards and Teatards is to destroy Obama's legacy ...like they almost destroyed America...that's the bottom line.

You probably think Wall Street is on your side too.

You definitely have brain damage to propose legalization of cocaine , heroin , meth, etc.

grumpy

"You've got nothing.
Other countries have health care"

So what if other countries have healthcare? We are talking about obamacare. There asre many types of healthcare and none of those countries have obamacare. So far obamacare has been shown to have been passed by lying about what is actually in it. Not the lies told to pass it, now we are seeing what is in it since it has been passed. Aren't you glad that it was passed before you were allowed to know what a turd it is?

Nemesis

Shizzle, did you lose track of the converation? I never said other countries didn't have health care. I two things

-The majority of Americans oppose the ACA.
-If you thought something was wrong, you'd try to tear it down.

I've substantiated the first point at your request, and you apparently lack the capacity to remain coherent on the topic long enough to even remember to dispute the second. Either that, or you've got nothing substantive to offer and you're verbally floundering again.

I don't have any position on whose side Wall Street is. Wall Street simply does what is best for Wall Street under the current conditions.

And your assertion that proposing an end to prohibition is evidence of brain damage is just that, a naked assertion (which I predicted.) You offer no basis.

That, and, of course, the fact that, true to form, you have nothing to offer but namecalling.

shucks

You lost track of the conversation - remember ? trans fat?

Here's another name for you : narcissistic clown.

Nemesis

You made it about the ACA - this subthread is all in response to you.

But then again, we wouldn't want to confuse your delusion with anything like facts.

shucks

You are a bottomless pit of idiocy and self- delusion.

santown419

×2

Contango

President Obama: If you like your trans fats you can keep them. :)

Nemesis

I believe a lot of supporters of the current regime are fond of buttons and bumper stickers that say "Keep your laws off my body!" Maybe they should take their own slogans to heart.

The Big Dog's back

Does that include women wanting to have abortions?

Nemesis

That's apparently the only time they actually believe in their own slogan, and the least truly applicable one.

Dr. Information

CBS reported that only 6 people signed up for Obiecare on day one. 6! Yup, its working alright.

Truth or Dare

K, now we need them to get real serious regarding all the messed up food dye used in foods that affects the health of children, all the hormones being pumped into our food that's causing pre-pubescent boys and girls to start developing at the age of 9, the antibiotics being used, the preservatives and the freaking plastic in food (fast food joints should be 1st.) the pesticides that are 500x's higher in our food then 2 decades ago and we only think we're eating healthy.....and we're going to worry about eating a freakin deep-fried donut?! Been on a as much as possible gluten free diet, but I think in support of all the wonderful BAKERS in our world, especially good donut makers, I'm going to purchase a dozen of my favorite assortment from the House of Donuts and savor them before they're messed with!

shucks

Trans fats are not good.

Nemesis

Candy, liquor, tobacco, caffeine, tanning, TV, video games, and not exercising are not good. Depending on who you ask, you could add to that meat, dairy, dirty pictures/movies, various sexual activities, rock'n'roll, hip hop, Harry Potter books, and the list goes on. You got a lot of banning to do.

The real question is, who died and made you and/or a bunch of bureaucrats Elvis/our mother?

shucks

Nothing but ad hominum attacks and snide remarks from you... how very
intellectual of you.

Let's legalize texting while driving.

The real question is : Why are you such an ignoramus?

shucks

Here's more :

Trans fat doesn't stir much 'nanny state' debate
http://abcnews.go.com/Health/wir...

Nemesis

Here's more what? There's really nothing relevant to the discussion in the article you linked.

Nemesis

double

Nemesis

Hmmmm,what's a response you'll comprehend - wait, I have it: I know you are but what am I?

Wow, Shizzle, with every response you dig the hole deeper. The comment to which you're responding contains no ad hominems or snide remarks, but a very pointed and on topic response to the non-value of your remark that "transfats are bad." A point to which you appear unable to respond, since you respond with more non-sequitur verbal floundering and namecalling.

shucks

You've got nothing but pretentiousness .

Nemesis

Classic shizzle. Bless your heart.

Do let us know when you have something meaningful to offer, but I won't be holding my breath.

shucks

Yes, I'm waiting for you too.

I lied , I could not care less for what you have to say.

Dr. Information

Nemesis. Some people deserve silence to comments posted. 4 shizzle is one of them. When will people learn on here. To have good conversation you mush ignore the bring nothing to the table people. Don't respond, its a forum, this person is probably some babbling human with limited friends and life. Just ignore them and move on.

shucks

"To have good conversation you mush ignore the bring nothing to the table people."

.....Say what ???
You certainly bring mush to the table.

"... this person is probably some babbling human with limited friends and life."
.....And who do you think you are ? Dr. Phil ?

Yes, you are another self-deluded troll who thinks he's intelligent.

Nemesis

"another self-deluded troll who thinks he's intelligent."

I know you are but what am I?

Nemesis

Just responding on a level appropriate for you, and I made no implications about whom you were addressing.

Nemesis

There is no failure - I was fully aware of whom you were addressing. I determine my reasons for responding. There's no requirement that you be addressing me.

As for circular dialogues, you're the one who keeps circling around to name calling. You challenged me to support my original assertion, and I did, to which you responded with more classic Shizzle - namecalling and irrelevancies. You're welcome to substantively dispute that, or offer a reason for your assertion that legalizing drugs is insane, but I doubt you will.

Nemesis

Not really, but thanks for confirming my doubts.

Nemesis

Why have 4shizzle's last few comments been deleted?