Trans fatty acids to be banished from U.S. diet
FDA takes step to remove artificial trans fats. Manufacturers have three years to apply the measure.
Health authorities around the world are trying to win the battle against the epidemic of obesity and cardiovascular disease. Yesterday the agency that regulates medicines and foods in the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) gave a crucial step and established a limit of three years for food manufacturers to eliminate harmful trans fats. Will no longer be “recognized as safe,” said the agency.
Trans fats are a type of fat that is produced by a process called
hydrogenation. By adding hydrogen to liquid oil solid fat that serves
the industry to increase the shelf life of food is obtained, as well as
to give a more provocative flavor. These fats are also cheaper than
those from animals saturated. Trans fatty acids are substances used in the food industry as
preservatives, fatty acids are present in particular pizzas, quiches,
prepared foods, cookies or pastries.
At Present in 27% of food in the US are artificial trans fatty acids, considered harmful, have been banned in the United States. “The partially hydrogenated vegetable oils, the main dietary source of artificial trans fatty acids in industrial food production, are not generally considered safe for use in human food,” said the US Agency for regulation of food (FDA) , adding that food manufacturers have three years to stop using them.
“This FDA decision on this major source of artificial fat shows the agency’s commitment to protect the heart health of all Americans,” said Dr. Stephen Ostroff justified, its acting director. He added: “This should reduce coronary heart disease and prevent thousands of heart attacks each year.”
Note that food industries since 2006 should indicate on the labels of their products the presence of trans fatty acids. With this regulation and product reformulation, the consumption of these fats has declined by about 78% from 2003 to 2012, from 4.6 grams per day to about 1 gram per day, reports the FDA.
A public health problem
In addition, the agency also noted that many food distribution chains and industrial are proven to do without the artificial trans fatty acids in the production process. Despite this, the consumption of these fats, which is reduced from the regulatory changes remains a public health concern in the United States. “Studies show that nutrition plays a key role in the prevention of chronic health problems such as cardiovascular disease,” said Susan Mayne, director of food safety and nutrition center FDA.
To work around the problem, some manufacturers have even replace these acids with other rich products. “When industrial change the composition of their products to eliminate trans fats, they often replace with the coconut and palm oil, high in saturated fats,” warned Angelo Dana White, dietetics professor at the ‘Quinnipiac University (Connecticut).
“Tens of thousands of lives have been saved each year”
The American group of food industries (GMA, Grocery Manufacturers Association), said he was pleased with the FDA’s decision that “meets both concerns (regarding trans fats, ie) while minimizing unnecessary disruption to trade “. The group, which represents 300 companies in the sector, has promised to “work with the FDA to further reduce these fats in foods,” pointing out that industries have already eliminated at least 86% of them.
Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg (2002-2013) has also welcomed the decision: “When the FDA will complete the work we started in New York, tens of thousands of lives have been saved each year, “he said.