Last week, the FDA denied a Grocery Manufacturers Association petition to allow the continued use of artificial trans fat in some applications.
The Fight Against Artificial Trans Fats
Eating high amounts of trans fats can increase the risk of developing heart disease, experiencing a stroke, and has been linked to type 2 diabetes. As the association between these health issues and trans fats became stronger, the crusade against using the additive gained traction.
FDA regulations have supported a decades-long fight against trans fats. In 2003, the FDA instated trans fat labeling regulations for food manufacturers. And finally, in 2015, the FDA determined that PHOs, a major source of artificial trans fats in foods, are no longer “Generally Recognized as Safe.” The compliance date for removing all PHOs from food production is between 2018 and 2020, depending on the manufacturer.
The GMA petitioned to allow continued use of artificial trans fats in some applications. However, after a review, the FDA deemed that their argument lacked “convincing evidence to support the conclusion that the proposed uses of [trans fat] are safe.”
Bringing this petition forward isn’t the first action that’s made the major lobbying group appear majorly out of touch with regulators, forward-thinking food industry companies, and health-conscious consumers. The GMA famously (and loudly) opposed GMO labeling initiatives, which ended up contributing to big names like Hershey, Tyson, and Campbell Soup leaving the group.