November 8th, 2013
09:37 AM ET

Put Down That Doughnut: FDA Takes On Trans Fat

So long, margarine: Artificial trans fat in foods may eventually become a thing of the past, Chief Medial Correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta reports.

The Food and Drug Administration on Thursday took a first step toward potentially eliminating most trans fat from the food supply, saying it has made a preliminary determination that a major source of trans fats - partially hydrogenated oils - is no longer "generally recognized as safe."

If the preliminary determination is finalized, according to the FDA, then partially hydrogenated oils will become food additives that could not be used in food without approval. Foods with unapproved additives cannot legally be sold.

Trans fat can be found in processed foods including desserts, microwave popcorn products, frozen pizza, margarine and coffee creamer, and has been linked to an increased risk of heart disease.

Dr. Roshini Raj explains why products include trans fat in the first place. Raj says,  “They help manufacturers keep their food on the shelves longer, they’re adding hydrogen…but they’re going to have to make some changes and that’s going to be tough on the food industry and I think that’s story we’re going to be hearing about.”

Consumer Spending Analyst Hitha Prabhakar  adds, “A lot of these companies have been trying to transition from the trans fat but it’s going to take a lot of man power and depending on the company, that price may be transferred to the customer.”


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soundoff (2 Responses)
  1. Scott

    The federal government is going to ban trans fats but does not ban cigarettes.
    Does not make any sense. Has it not been proven that cigarettes are
    a health hazard to the user and those around the user as well as putting
    an enormous burden on the United States health care system? I don't get it
    but can only assume that the tobacco lobby has a lot more money then the trans fat lobby.

    November 9, 2013 at 8:55 am | Reply
  2. Taylor Williams

    I truly don't get why media like CNN don't have a food scientist address these issues. Solid sources of fat are required to make foods are what they are – take pie crust for example. My grandmother used to use lard. BAD.

    Physicians and consumer experts clearly don't have the whole story. I am not defending the need to find a replacement trans fat but it is not just a big food industry need to Keep products fresh longer. It also is a matter of functionality. Remember when all tropical oils were said to be bad and food companies had to reformulate? I can guarantee there will be a return to these oils out of food science necessity and sheer cooking/baking functionality!

    November 8, 2013 at 2:31 pm | Reply

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