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The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has elected to extend the compliance date regarding the sale of food products containing partially hydrogenated oils (also known as PHOs).
According to a Constituent Update issued in mid-May, the FDA will allow food products containing PHOs that are produced prior to June 18, 2018 to continue to be placed on the market until January 1, 2020. The agency says that this extension is intended to avoid adversely penalizing producers who have remaining inventories of food products that contain PHOs. However, the FDA’s requirements that generally bans the production of food products containing PHOs as of June 18 remain in place.
At the same time, the FDA has denied a petition from the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) requesting an exemption for certain limited uses of PHO’s in food. However, in this case, the agency has extended until June 18, 2019 the compliance date for foods specified in the GMA’s petition to allow producers of these specific foods additional time to reformulate their products.
The presence of PHOs in food is associated with increased levels of LDL cholesterol (so-called “bad” cholesterol) in the body and with concurrent decreases in the levels of HDL cholesterol (“good” cholesterol), changes that can increase the risk of heart disease in humans.
The text of the FDA’s update extending the compliance date for certain uses of PHOs is available here.
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