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Nov 7, 2013 06:53 AM

FDA moves to ban trans fats

From NY Times story: "The Food and Drug Administration on Thursday proposed measures that would all but eliminate artificial trans fats, the artery clogging substance that is a major contributor to heart disease in the United States, from the food supply."

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  1. Looks to me someone is trying to justify a reason for their existence!

    On a serious note, I couldn't agree with this more. (ban on trans fats, not Becker-head)

    2 Replies
    1. re: jrvedivici

      P.S. That other thread's title is off base. USDA regulates the National Organic Program, not FDA.

      1. re: Melanie Wong

        Just another thing Beck had wrong, then.

      1. Artificial trans fats have been banned in California for food prepared in restaurants for more than three years now. The rationale was that without the benefit of labeling, consumers were not aware of the amount of harmful trans fats in their food. Restaurants had a phase in period to reformulate in order to comply and it went quite smoothly. It was a trend anyway in this part of the country, and the regulation just made it happen faster and established standards. A side benefit is that the publicity around it educated consumers so that they made more healthful choices in their grocery purchases for home prepared meals.

        Where I've noticed the difference from a taste and texture perspective is in fried foods. French fries, donuts, etc. are not as crisp for the most part in non-trans fat frying oil. Bring back lard, I say!

        3 Replies
        1. re: Melanie Wong

          New York City has a similar ban on artificial trans fats in restaurants.

          1. re: Melanie Wong

            <<<<<Where I've noticed the difference from a taste and texture perspective is in fried foods. French fries, donuts, etc. are not as crisp for the most part in non-trans fat frying oil. Bring back lard, I say!>>>>>

            I agree with the lard! But I really HATE the mouthfeel of foods made with partially hydrogenated fats - it creates a coating in my mouth that is persistent and unpleasant.

            1. re: Melanie Wong

              I agree. I'd rather severely limit my saturated fats and have the ones I do use be the real thing, aka lard and butter.

            2. The FDA released this proposal on 8-inch floppy disks. For a copy, send them a Telegram through Western Union and it will be promptly shipped to you via the Railway Express Agency (REA).

              2 Replies
              1. re: Antilope

                thanks for the LOL, antilope!
                don't forget the alternative -- pony express!

                  1. re: treb

                    And should be---the filling is basically Crisco and sugar.

                    1. re: mwhitmore

                      Yum. BTW - Crisco has no trans fats.

                      1. re: treb

                        For label purposes, Crisco has no transfats. A "serving" of Crisco is 12 g. (one tbsp) and there are less than 1/2 g. of trans-fats per serving, so the label may show zero.

                          1. re: GH1618

                            This has been the danger of tans fats. People are so easily fooled into believing their food has no trans fats when it's not always the case. It adds up. I was upset when Girl Scout cookies prominently stated "No Trans Fats" on their labels when they did, just not enough to have to show it (per their definition of a serving). Companies are making smaller serving sizes to get under that 1/2 gram amount.

                            That said, I don't agree w/ banning it. I think it should be prominently labeled on the package in big letters so it can't be missed if there is any partially hydrogenated oils. People continue to smoke, that is far worst and that's their choice Maybe we could tax trans fats like we do cigarettes; a tans fats tax (maybe I just want to hear those debate it have to say that repeatedly).

                            1. re: chowser

                              "Tax trans fats" - The problem with sin taxes is that the money goes to just about everything but the ills the sinful product causes.

                              1. re: chowser

                                Smoking isn't a fair analogy, I think. The cigaret makers don't put the carcinogens into the tobacco, it occurs naturally. The food makers create artificial trans fats and put them into our food, often without telling us (as you say), though it's known to be a health hazard. Even the wary buyer may end up eating trans fats against her will. This needs to stop, and the only way it's going to stop is by government intervention.

                                1. re: John Francis

                                  That's why I said I think it needs to be prominently labeled. That way, people can make an informed decision.

                                  1. re: chowser

                                    The FDA and Dept. of Agriculture are in the business of protecting us from unhealthy or deadly stuff in the food supply, such as tainted meat and salmonella-carrying poultry and produce - it's not enough just to put a sticker on the package saying, "Caution: this product may contain salmonella which can kill you." Why should we not also be protected from the needless introduction of artificially produced harmful and potentially deadly ingredients into the food we eat? Why should artificial trans fats be allowed at all? I don't get it.

                                    1. re: John Francis

                                      Cigarettes are far more dangerous and they're legal. The government should give us the knowledge to make our own informed decision. Some people are willing to take the risk of eating beet tartare or sushi Should the government ban those? I'm anti-trans fats and don't eat them myself. However, it's a personal choice.

                                      1. re: chowser

                                        You're anti-trans fats, which are inherently dangerous to our health, there's nothing good to be said for them, yet you would permit food companies to continue making them and adding them to our food? Why should it be a personal choice? I still don't get it.

                                        As for cigarettes, that's a quite different issue, but since you mention it, there actually is a partial ban on them, at least where I live. They can't be sold to people under the age of 21, and smoking is illegal in restaurants and virtually all indoors and public spaces. Exercise your personal choice and light up in my town and you're likely to get into trouble.

                                        1. re: John Francis

                                          I avoid soda, artificial sweeteners, work out religiously, eat plenty of vegetables, often organic depending on what they are, limit saturated fats, don't eat fast food. Do I want the government to enforce that by law? No, other adults can decide for themselves. If, given my lifestyle, I decide I want to eat an oreo once in a while, it should be my choice. Unlike smoking, second hand fumes won't harm the person next to me and THAT is the reason for the smoking ban.

                                2. re: chowser

                                  It doesn't help much at restaurants, which is where the big problem is, IMO.

                                  I don't know where I stand on the ban. I guess I wish we were all smart enough to stop creating a market for it by not eating or buying things that contain trans fats.

                                  The government shuts itself down (except for the congressional gym, which was absolutely necessary) to cause the affordable care act to go down in flames, but they're micromanaging to the point of banning a certain type of fat? Is that their way of showing us they care?

                                  Off my soapbox and fading back into the crowd now.