US bans Partially Hydrogenated Oils (PHOs)/ Trans fats by 2018
United States (US) has announced to curb and eliminate majority of partially hydrogenated oils (PHOs) commonly called trans-fats from the country’s food supply by 2018.
This decision of US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) comes after intensive lobbying by health advocates and scientists that artificial oils raise the risk of heart diseases by clogging arteries.
In this regard, US FDA has revoked the status of PHOs as a food additive from current status of safe food product. Henceforth food manufacturers in US will be no longer be able to use the PHOs in food without prior approval of FDA.
The new policy will help to prevent at least 20,000 coronary heart attacks each year and 7,000 deaths from coronary heart disease in US.
It will also serve as lessons for the regulation on trans-fat use in foods in developing countries such as India where heart related diseases are on rise.
In United States the popularity of trans fats had soared in the 1940s. Since then it had emerged as a key ingredient in major food products as it was cheap to produce with a long shelf life.
In 2006, the FDA had mandatorily insisted all food manufacturing firms to include trans fat content information on labels of each product. In November 2013, FDA had recognised trans fats as a threat to public health. WHO also consider trans fats as toxic for consumption at certain levels.