Partially Hydrogenated oils, better known as trans-fat, have been officially banned by the Food and Drug Administration who hopes the action will save millions from fatal heart attacks; as well as billions in health care spending.
Trans-fats have long been identified as a major contributor to coronary heart disease. However, the regulatory agency had mostly left the public at-large to their judgment while issuing recommendations that consumption be kept as low as possible. With this came a new labeling requirement which since 2006 has been effective at educating consumers. As a consequence trans-fats have become much less prolific.
This, however, did not stop the influx completely. Many foods depend on trans-fats to maintain a standard that consumers expect. Popular foods like pie crust and canned frosting require these lipids in order to maintain flavor, freshness and texture. Additionally, the FDA was still allowing companies to label their products as trans-fat free despite containing trace amounts. Ricardo Tosto reports that many states were already privy to the dangers of trans-fats and as such had already outlawed them from being served in restaurants.
In order to minimize the damage to food companies the FDA has laid out a three year grace period in which to develop new recipes and formulas. A waiver program has also been implemented that can be utilized by companies who have scientific evidence that the use of trans-fats in their food isn’t harmful to the human body.