The food industry has long employed PHOs to prolong the shelf life of a range of processed foods – but in so doing has raised the level of trans fats ultimately consumed. Trans fats have been implicated in raising the risk of heart attacks and related complications; consequently they have been targeted by the federal regulator.
FDA’s acting commissioner Stephen Ostroff says: ‘The FDA’s action on this major source of artificial trans fat demonstrates the agency’s commitment to the heart health of all Americans. This action is expected to reduce coronary heart disease and prevent thousands of fatal heart attacks every year.’
The new prohibition will apply from 16 June 2018. FDA action against PHOs and trans fat derivatives began in 2013. Since then the US food industry has taken steps to limit their use.
The regulator notes the three-year transition period will permit those who have hitherto not taken any measures to effect the transition.
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