United States Bans Trans Fats

Article excerpt

[caption id="attachment_41226" align="alignright" width="300"] TRANS FATS In this January 18, 2012 file photo, Alexes Garcia makes cinnamon rolls for students lunch in the kitchen at Kepner Middle School in Denver. The rolls are made using apple sauce instead of trans fats. (AP)[/caption] Washington (AP) Heart-clogging trans fats were once a staple of the American diet, plentiful in baked goods, microwave popcorn and fried foods. Now, mindful of the health risks, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is getting rid of what is left of them for good. Condemning artificial trans fats as a threat to public health, the FDA announced Thursday it will require the food industry to phase them out. Manufacturers already have eliminated many trans fats, responding to criticism from the medical community and to local laws, Even so, the FDA said getting rid of the rest; the average American still eats around a gram of trans fat a day, could prevent 20,000 heart attacks and 7,000 deaths each year. It will not happen right away. The agency will collect comments for two months before determining a phase-out timetable. Different foods may have different schedules, depending how easy it is to find substitutes. We want to do it in a way that doesnt unduly disrupt markets, said Michael Taylor, FDAs deputy commissioner for foods. Still, he says, the food industry has demonstrated that it is, by and large, feasible to do. Indeed, so much already has changed that most Americans will not notice much difference, if any, in food they get at groceries or restaurants. A handful of other countries have banned them, including Switzerland and Denmark. Other countries have enacted strict labeling laws. …