Integrative Nutrition Blog

Goodbye, Trans Fats! But What Took So Long?!

June 18, 2015

Image via Shutterstock

IIN has been at the forefront of the health revolution for over 20 years. We were leading initiatives to help ban trans fat in New York City restaurants in 2006! And while I’m personally thrilled that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced on Tuesday that partially hydrogenated oils (PHOs) – the main source of artificial trans fat in processed foods – are not “generally recognized as safe” for use in human food, I have to wonder: What took them so long?!

Let’s look at the history. It is scientific fact that trans fat intake is associated with higher risk of cardiovascular disease, and the evidence of this has been abundant for over 9 years!

Food manufacturers have been required to label trans fat content on food since 2006, and while this was a step in the right direction, it did not go far enough to protect the public. In 2013, the FDA made a tentative decision that trans fats were not generally recognized as safe. But why was the 2013 decision only tentative?

Now, finally, the FDA has finalized its determination after “considering public comments” (that’s another victory for us!) and is giving food manufacturers three years to remove trans fat from America’s food supply.

But why didn’t the FDA make any effort to remove trans fat from America’s food supply until 2015 – almost 10 years after they realized it was killing people?!

I have to wonder: Was the FDA protecting people? Or corporations?

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