FDA Trans Fats Ban Littered With Loopholes

The Food and Drug Administration’s move to ban trans fats aims to halt the food industry’s use of partially hydrogenated oils blamed for 20,000 heart attacks and 7,000 deaths each year. But health advocates argue that the policy, announced this week, doesn’t go far enough.

In fact, the FDA regulation allows for a three-year phase-in period, contains loopholes likely to allow the dangerous fats to remain in many processed foods, and could provide exceptions for certain products.

“We applaud the FDA for taking an important step that would eventually eliminate partially hydrogenated oils — the primary source of trans fats in Americans’ diets — in our food,” said Renee Sharp, director of research for the Environmental Working Group, a nonprofit health advocacy group.