Print 57 comment(s) - last by conq.. on Nov 11 at 8:32 AM

The process of actually removing trans fat from all food could take awhile, even years

Trans fat may get the boot out of every food in the U.S. if the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has its way.

The FDA is starting a 60-day public comment period today regarding the elimination of trans fat from its list of ingredients deemed safe for consumption.

"[The FDA] is responding to the fact that the science really demonstrates that trans fat provides no known health benefit and that there really is no safe level of consumption of trans fat," said FDA commissioner Margaret Hamburg. "Consumption should be as low as possible while consuming a nutritionally adequate diet."

The process of actually removing trans fat from all food could take awhile, even years. Food manufacturers will need time to find safe substitutes and change up their ingredients. 

Food manufacturers typically use trans fat to increase product shelf life and maintain flavors, and it's commonly used in items like baked goods, canned frosting, stick margarine and coffee creamers.

What exactly is trans fat? It's partially hydrogenated oil that is made by bubbling hydrogen through hot vegetable oil. This transforms the liquid oil into a fat that is solid at room temperature.

Many studies show that trans fat increasing LDL cholesterol (the bad kind) and decreases HDL (the good kind). The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention added that 5,000 Americans die of heart disease annually and another 15,000 will get heart disease because of artificial trans fat in food. 

"This is the first step in removing artificial trans fats from processed foods," said Hamburg.

Source: USA Today

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RE: So...
By joshuasims1981 on 11/7/2013 3:21:09 PM , Rating: 2
It has nothing to do with what you eat. It has to do with what companies are allowed to put in their product. For example: Dutch Oil is very useful in the production of PVC and as a solvent, but it is banned in the US because it's a toxic & carcinogenic material that remains as a residue for a long time.
If it wasn't banned, it'd still be in use and poisoning the public at large because it's cheap and effective. Similarly, trans-fats are cheap and easy to produce and have several beneficial properties from an engineering standpoint. Unfortunately, they're detrimental to a consumer's health.

RE: So...
By Reclaimer77 on 11/7/2013 3:29:14 PM , Rating: 5
Okay so what's next? Sugar, salt, carbs? Maybe we'll try Prohibition again too while we're at it!

Unfortunately, they're detrimental to a consumer's health.

That is VERY dangerous thinking. Don't give them that much power. A great many things can be construed as being "harmful" to our health. But that's the cost of Freedom. We, as a society, should be free to make choices that aren't always in our best interests!

I'm not arguing that Trans fats don't pose any health risks, but is it at the level that we need the Government to step in? Certainly not.

RE: So...
By JediJeb on 11/7/2013 3:59:58 PM , Rating: 2
My Biochemistry teacher in college got off on a similar topic back then. It was when saturated fat was the big buzz word and everyone was pushing the use of polyunsaturated fats as being healthy because they didn't cause heart disease. As he said, do you want to die from heart disease or cancer, because by their very nature unsaturated fats are potentially carcinogenic, yet nobody was worried about that, only that they could prevent heart disease by switching to them.

Too often one or two very vocal people end up setting policy even when their assumptions are wrong.

RE: So...
By augiem on 11/7/2013 5:18:46 PM , Rating: 3
I am all for smaller government, but some level of regulation is required. Just look at any of the rising 3rd world countries in the world and you'll see if people can gain some kind of profit by doing something terrible to others and get away with it, they will, no matter how evil it is. From dangerous chemicals in baby food to fake prescription drugs that kill people to shoddy products that cause fires to rip-off liquors that contain acetone and isopropyl alcohol, on and on and on.

We already have tons of regulations, some are overzealous, some are not. You wouldn't advocate repealing all of those would you? Let's get rid of all food safety laws. Restaurants should be able to (legally) leave buckets of chicken unrefrigerated under the sink with a family of rats living in it. Canned food processes shouldn't have to be regulated so they kill all the bacteria in it so people don't get botulism. But it's their choice to put it in their bodies! The thing is, the average consumer must be able to make the assumption that something they're buying to eat is reasonably safe, otherwise they wouldn't buy it at all and there goes society. Regulation is an evil but necessary part of society because not everyone is nice.

Knee jerk reactions go both ways.

RE: So...
By Reclaimer77 on 11/7/2013 7:21:38 PM , Rating: 2
I am all for smaller government, but (goes on to justify big-Government actions)

Not picking on you, but I've seen this WAY too many times. Either you're for a small limited Government, or you're not.

I'm not asking for the Wild Wild West here or Anarchy. But Trans Fatty Acids falling under Federal Government jurisdiction? That's ridiculous!

But we're talking about the same Government that literally banned a light who am I kidding?

Sometimes I honestly wish I could be like you guys and just not give a goddamn. Life would be easier.

RE: So...
By augiem on 11/7/2013 10:06:53 PM , Rating: 2
Not picking on you, but I've seen this WAY too many times. Either you're for a small limited Government, or you're not.

I said smaller, not zero. And I gave great justification for you. You are wayyyy too idealistic. It's not based in reality. Someday you'll understand I hope.

RE: So...
By Reclaimer77 on 11/8/2013 10:39:01 AM , Rating: 2
This is not some epidemic or toxic chemical being pumped into our water. Or a drug that causes birth defects.

There isn't even direct causation here, just correlation.

I totally support action when warranted. I just don't see that it is here.

Banning tobacco products and alcohol would save way more lives and improve the health of millions. But those are taxable cash cows for the Gov.

RE: So...
By sorry dog on 11/10/2013 8:49:57 PM , Rating: 2
Maybe we should reform corporate shield laws such that if the corporation is criminally negligent, then the managers and their bosses shall serve the jail time for the corporate "person."

I bet Koch brothers and ADM executives will start acting waaayy differently if that were to happen....and those 8 figure salaries might be justified.

...of course we'll be getting our food from replicators before that happens....

RE: So...
By Jeffk464 on 11/7/2013 6:22:48 PM , Rating: 2
The government isn't banning a final food product its just regulating what can be used to make the food product. Don't worry you will still be able to buy your favorite junk food.

RE: So...
By Reclaimer77 on 11/7/2013 7:15:10 PM , Rating: 2
The government isn't banning a final food product its just regulating what can be used to make the food product.

May I offer an alternative?

1. Check if Trans Fatty Acids are in food product.
2. Don't buy said product.


RE: So...
By Samus on 11/7/2013 10:22:27 PM , Rating: 2
Food products don't have to list trans fat if it contains less than 0.5g/serving. That's still a huge amount of trans fat when you consider there are 8 servings in a carton of Goldfish crackers and its pretty easy to eat 1/3 of a carton in a single bowl of soup. That'd be nearly 2 grams of trans fat, more than you used to get in a large French fry from McDonald's before they started reducing the amount they used.

New York city banned trans fat years ago and the substitutes are healthier oils such as coconut, peanut or even grape seed for uncooked goods.

This is an example of good government regulation in the same way blocking the ATT/ T-Mobile merger was.

The government isn't completely corrupt and evil, just inefficient and expensive.

RE: So...
By superstition on 11/8/2013 1:59:54 AM , Rating: 2
That was done on purpose so companies could hide the trans fat they still wanted to use.

A fun one is the way packaging labels will read: "canola oil and/or partially hydrogenated soybean oil"

The product should list how much total trans fat is in the package, along with how much sodium. And, companies need to start using iodized salt again.

RE: So...
By ipay on 11/8/2013 8:34:40 AM , Rating: 2
Am who ensures that you're able to tell what's in a food product?

You're ridiculous.

RE: So...
By mike66 on 11/7/2013 7:46:11 PM , Rating: 1
is it at the level that we need the Government to step in? Certainly not.

Sometimes you really just argue for the sake of it.
The government has stepped in and said enough, the levels are to high. You have complained before that industry has to much influence on your government and as soon your government regulates you say it impinges on your personnel rights! Go have a doughnut.

RE: So...
By augiem on 11/7/2013 10:05:05 PM , Rating: 2
Sometimes you really just argue for the sake of it.


RE: So...
By gookpwr on 11/7/2013 5:19:10 PM , Rating: 2
Exactly!! Now they no longer allowed the use of High fructose corn syrup and Aspartame, I think we would see a dramatic improvement in health for the general public that ignorantly consumes anything the FDA deems legally allowed to be used in making food.

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