Division of Dockets Management (HFA-305)
Food and Drug Administration
5630 Fishers Lane
Rockville, MD 20852
Docket No. FDA-2013-N-1317
Dear Commissioner Hamburg,
I strongly support the Food and Drug Administration's preliminary determination that partially hydrogenated oils are no longer generally recognized as safe
As the agency has acknowledged, eliminating the artificial trans fat that comes from partially hydrogenated oils could prevent between 10,000 and 20,000 heart attacks and 3,000 to 7,000 heart disease deaths annually. The FDA's preliminary declaration is also in line with the recommendation of the Institute of Medicine, which reported that there is no safe level of trans fat and that intake should be as low as possible.
While restaurants and food manufacturers have made dramatic progress in eliminating partially hydrogenated oils from many foods, the ingredient still lurks in microwave popcorn, frosting, cakes and pies, and in some restaurant foods.
As the FDA has indicated, the cost to remove the remaining partially hydrogenated oil from the food supply is small ($8 billion) compared with the potential health benefits ($117 to $242 billion).
I urge the FDA to notify industry that it must complete the elimination of artificial trans fat in the next 6 to 12 months. If a company is unable to complete the transition in that time frame it may seek an extension from the FDA, but finalizing the prohibition on the use of partially hydrogenated oils should not be delayed.
Thank you for considering my views.
Thanks to Center for Science in the Public Interest www.cspinet.org