APHA commends FDA for removing trans fat

Date: Jun 16 2015

For Immediate Release
Contact: David Fouse, 202-777-2501 

APHA commends FDA for removing trans fat from nation’s food supply

Statement by Georges Benjamin, MD, executive director, American Public Health Association

Washington, D.C., June 16, 2015 — “The Food and Drug Administration today announced it is removing partially hydrogenated oils from the nation’s food supply.

“The agency has reached its final determination that partially hydrogenated oils, which represent the primary dietary source of industrially produced trans-fatty acids, or trans fat, are not generally recognized as safe for any use in food. APHA and the public health community applaud this determination.

“The evidence is clear. There is no safe level of trans fat. By FDA’s estimation, partially hydrogenated oils cause up to 7,000 deaths each year in the U.S. and should be phased out of the food supply as soon as possible. FDA has also concluded that the economic benefits of eliminating the use of partially hydrogenated oil greatly outweigh the costs of switching to healthier oils. Over 20 years, it is estimated that the benefits would total between $117 billion and $242 billion while the costs would total between $12 billion and $14 billion.

“This major public health victory comes after nearly 25 years of scientific research and advocacy on behalf of the public health community.

“A healthier food supply is absolutely critical in supporting good health and reducing chronic disease related to poor nutrition, overweight, obesity and food insecurity. Removing this source of industrial trans fat in the food supply will prevent thousands of preventable illnesses and deaths each year from heart disease.

“APHA strongly endorses the removal of partially hydrogenated oil from the food supply and submitted comments to FDA in support of this final determination.”

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The American Public Health Association champions the health of all people and all communities. We strengthen the public health profession. We speak out for public health issues and policies backed by science. We are the only organization that influences federal policy, has a 140-plus year perspective and brings together members from all fields of public health. Visit www.apha.org.