The Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) is seeking to persuade the FDA that there is a “reasonable certainty of no harm" from consumption of partially hydrogenated oils at the levels specified in its petition.

Josh Long, Associate editorial director, Natural Products Insider

August 10, 2015

2 Min Read
GMA Files Food Additive Petition in Wake of FDA Trans Fat Ruling

A trade association has petitioned the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to approve low-level uses of partially hydrogenated oil (PHO) in certain foods.

The food additive petition was filed a few months after FDA finalized its determination that PHOs, the main sources of artificial trans fat, are not safe. Food manufacturers must remove PHOs from their products by June 2018.

The Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) is seeking to persuade the FDA that there is a “reasonable certainty of no harm" from consumption of PHOs at the levels specified in its petition. The petition covers PHOs in various food categories, including protein drinks, breakfast cereals, meat alternatives and frozen pizza.

“Our food additive petition shows that the presence of trans fat from the proposed low-level uses of PHOs is as safe as the naturally occurring trans fat present in the normal diet," said Leon Bruner, Ph.D., GMA's chief science officer, in a statement. “It’s important to know that food and beverage companies have already voluntarily lowered the amount of trans fat added to food products by more than 86 percent and will continue lowering PHO use to levels similar to naturally occurring trans fat found in the diet."

GMA’s food additive petition is expected to face resistance from the nonprofit Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI).

"There's little, if any, room left for the industrially produced kind from partially hydrogenated oils," CSPI’s Executive Director Michael Jacobson said in a statement, commenting on GMA’s petition. “But companies apparently want to market foods with a quarter or half a gram of trans fat in a serving. For some people, such as consumers of microwave popcorn and Cinnabons, the amounts could add up to a significant health risk. Safer substitutes for partially hydrogenated oil have been deployed for every kind of food, so there’s really no excuse to keep using it."

FDA’s ruling doesn’t affect naturally occurring fats in in beef, milk and other dairy products, GMA noted.

About the Author(s)

Josh Long

Associate editorial director, Natural Products Insider, Informa Markets Health and Nutrition

Josh Long directs the online news, feature and op-ed coverage at Natural Products Insider, which targets the health and wellness industry. He has been reporting on developments in the dietary supplement industry for over a decade, with a focus on regulatory issues, including at the Food and Drug Administration.

He has moderated and/or presented at industry trade shows, including SupplySide East, SupplySide West, Natural Products Expo West, NBJ Summit and the annual Dietary Supplement Regulatory Summit.

Connect with Josh on LinkedIn and ping him with story ideas at [email protected]

Education and previous experience

Josh majored in journalism and graduated from Arizona State University the same year "Jake the Snake" Plummer led the Sun Devils to the Rose Bowl against the Ohio State Buckeyes. He also holds a J.D. from the University of Wyoming College of Law, was admitted in 2008 to practice law in the state of Colorado and spent a year clerking for a state district court judge.

Over more than a quarter century, he’s written on various topics for newspapers and business-to-business publications – from the Yavapai in Arizona and a controversial plan for a nuclear-waste incinerator in Idaho to nuanced issues, including FDA enforcement of the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994 (DSHEA).

Since the late 1990s, his articles have been published in a variety of media, including but not limited to, the Cape Cod Times (in Massachusetts), Sedona Red Rock News (in Arizona), Denver Post (in Colorado), Casper Star-Tribune (in Wyoming), now-defunct Jackson Hole Guide (in Wyoming), Colorado Lawyer (published by the Colorado Bar Association) and Nutrition Business Journal.

Subscribe and receive the latest insights on the health and nutrition industry.
Join 37,000+ members. Yes, it's completely free.

You May Also Like