WASHINGTON (CBSDC) — The Federal Food and Drug Administration is looking to drop trans fat in processed foods citing health concerns over heart attacks and deaths.

“While consumption of potentially harmful artificial trans fat has declined over the last two decades in the United States, current intake remains a significant public health concern,” said FDA Commissioner Margaret A. Hamburg, M.D. in a press release.

Scientific evidence and the findings of expert scientific panels is what the FDA’s preliminary determination is based from.

“The FDA’s action today is an important step toward protecting more Americans from the potential dangers of trans fat. Further reduction in the amount of trans fat in the American diet could prevent an additional 20,000 heart attacks and 7,000 deaths from heart disease each year – a critical step in the protection of Americans’ health.”

According to the FDA, trans fat increases the risk of coronary heart disease when consumed and that it provides no known health benefit.

Certain desserts, microwave popcorn products, frozen pizzas, and coffee creamers is where trans fat can be found mostly.  Many manufacturers and retailers have already showed that those products can be made without trans fat being added.

“One of the FDA’s core regulatory functions is ensuring that food, including all substances added to food, is safe,” said Michael Taylor, the FDA’s deputy commissioner for foods and veterinary medicine in the press release. “Food manufacturers have voluntarily decreased trans fat levels in many foods in recent years, but a substantial number of products still contain partially hydrogenated oils, which are the major source of trans fat in processed food.”

If the FDA does indeed drop trans fat, food producers would be given adequate time to reformulate products in order to minimize market disruption. This determination would not have an affect on trans fat that occurs naturally in small amounts in certain meat and dairy products the FDA noted.

(TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


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