For someone in my line of work, especially given the work that I have been doing lately monitoring and tracking efforts nutrition initiatives in my current position, t’s hard to overstate how monumental this is: yesterday, the FDA released its final decision, requiring the food industry to ENTIRELY phase out the use of all partially hydrogenated oils (PHOs, or trans-fats) over the next three years.
Although numerous retails and food manufacturers have already taken steps to eliminate this ingredient from their shelves or products, and despite the fact that several local governments have already banned the ingredient from their municipalities, the FDA’s position has much broader implications and may dramatically change the legal landscape, according to quotes from an attorney and partner at Reese Richman, LLP and PoliticoPRO.
The FDA’s decision rescinds PHOs generally recognized as safe status. GRAS products are not required to have FDA approval for use in foods, but their safety is supposed to be grounded in scientific consensus. For PHOs, specifically, this has been called into question in the last decade (or so).
It’s hard to know exactly what will happen in the coming months – and years – as a result of this ruling, but one thing is for sure: it will be interesting.