FDA Extends Trans Fat Comment Deadline
Look for the next step in the FDA’s proposed crackdown on trans fats to come this spring, as the agency extended its comment period on the rule to March 8. Late last year, the FDA proposed revoking the fats’ status as “generally recognized as safe” (GRAS), which would lead to a phase-out of trans fats in most food products. Food companies had asked for an extension beyond the original Jan. 7 comment deadline, citing the complexity of the issue, and are expected to push for alternatives to a ban such as enhanced labeling or a maximum threshold. Trans fats, typically in the form of partially hydrogenated vegetable oils, are convenient for food packagers and restaurants but have been linked to heart disease; the fats increase unhealthy LDL cholesterol while lowering good HDL cholesterol levels.