FDA Moves to Ban Trans Fat

<p><a href="http://www.shutterstock.com/pic-111946811/stock-photo-potato-chips-isolated-on-white-background.html?src=468tkkJSHxRm853aTfX4ww-1-21" target="_blank">Nattika</a>/Shutterstock</p>

Fight disinformation. Get a daily recap of the facts that matter. Sign up for the free Mother Jones newsletter.


Of all the Food and Drug Administration’s bows to Big Food—examples here, here, here, and here—perhaps the most pernicious is the status it has long bestowed on partially hydrogenated oils, also known as trans fat: “generally regarded as safe.”

With trans fat deemed “GRAS,” the food industry has been free to dump the cheap butter substitute in a whole array of foods for decades. Meanwhile, the public health community generally regards the stuff as quite ruinous to a bodily organ generally regarded as critical to one’s health: the heart. The Harvard School of Public Health calls it the “worst fat for the heart, blood vessels, and rest of the body.”

After decades of fending off demands, the FDA finally required food manufacturers to label trans fats starting in 2006. And just today, the FDA announced it had begun the process of revoking trans fat’s “generally regarded as safe” status. The process begins with a 60-day comment period. If the agency follows through, any foods containing trans fats will be “considered adulterated under U.S. law, meaning they cannot legally be sold,” the FDA wrote in its press release.

For the industry-addled history of the FDA’s effort to reckon with the health menace of trans fats, see this post from last year.

ONE MORE QUICK THING:

Or at least we hope. It’s fall fundraising time, and we’re trying to raise $250,000 to help fund Mother Jones’ journalism during a shorter than normal three-week push.

If you’re reading this, a fundraising pitch at the bottom of an article, you must find our team’s reporting valuable and we hope you’ll consider supporting it with a donation of any amount right now if you can.

It’s really that simple. But if you’d like to read a bit more, our membership lead, Brian Hiatt, has a post for you highlighting some of our newsroom's impressive, impactful work of late—including two big investigations in just one day and covering voting rights the way it needs to be done—that we hope you'll agree is worth supporting.

payment methods

ONE MORE QUICK THING:

Or at least we hope. It’s fall fundraising time, and we’re trying to raise $250,000 to help fund Mother Jones’ journalism during a shorter than normal three-week push.

If you’re reading this, a fundraising pitch at the bottom of an article, you must find our team’s reporting valuable and we hope you’ll consider supporting it with a donation of any amount right now if you can.

It’s really that simple. But if you’d like to read a bit more, our membership lead, Brian Hiatt, has a post for you highlighting some of our newsroom's impressive, impactful work of late—including two big investigations in just one day and covering voting rights the way it needs to be done—that we hope you’ll agree is worth supporting.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate