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Marketplace

A trans fat ban might just be the icing on the cake

Nancy Marshall-Genzer Jun 15, 2015
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About a year and a half ago, the FDA said that partially hydrogenated oils — the source of trans fat — “are not generally recognized as safe.” 

Would an outright ban be a big burden for the food industry? Food companies say they’ve already eliminated 86 percent of trans fats voluntarily.

“There’s been huge progress,” says Michael Jacobson, executive director of the consumer group Center for Science in the Public Interest“And now the FDA needs to nail the coffin shut,” he says.

The Center for Science in the Public Interest tracks food that still contains trans fats:

Jacobson says the FDA would probably ease in a trans fat ban over several years but still allow minor uses, like in cupcake sprinkles.

“It’s almost like this is just the icing on the cake — I think icing might actually have trans fats too — but anyway, it’s just solidifying what the industry has already begun to do,” says Darren Seifer, the food and beverage industry analyst at the NPD Group. 

Seifer says he hasn’t heard any complaints from the industry.

I couldn’t get anybody in the food industry to do an interview. But I did get an email from Cargill, which makes partially hydrogenated oils, touting other oils it makes that could work as replacements.

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