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posted by janrinok on Wednesday June 17 2015, @01:24AM   Printer-friendly
from the a-fat-lot-of-good-that-will-do dept.

FDA to ban trans-fats within 3 years

The FDA is finally rectifying one of their biggest failures ever -- trans fats. The FDA on Tuesday ruled that trans fat is not "generally recognized as safe" for use in human food.

"In many ways, trans fat is a real tragic story for the American diet," Nissen said. "In the 1950s and '60s, we mistakenly told Americans that butter and eggs were bad for them and pushed people to margarine, which is basically trans fat. What we've learned now is that saturated fat is relatively neutral -- it is the trans fat that is really harmful and we had made the dietary situation worse."

USA to ban partially-hydrogenated vegetable oil

According to multiple sources, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is set to ban partially-hydrogenated oil, a major source of trans-fats, which have been shown to cause heart disease. The ban will go into effect in 3 years.

New York Times:

The agency has proposed that partially hydrogenated oils, the source of trans fats, no longer be "generally recognized as safe."

That means companies would have to prove that such oils are safe to eat, a high hurdle given that scientific literature overwhelmingly shows the contrary. The Institute of Medicine has concluded that there is no safe level for consumption of them, a conclusion that the F.D.A. cited in its reasoning.

Partially hydrogenated oils are cheaper than saturated animal fats like butter, and for years were thought to be healthier. They are formed when liquid oil is treated with hydrogen gas and made solid. They became popular in fried and baked goods and in margarine. Crisco, originally marketed in the beginning of the 20th century, was the archetype, although it now contains no trans fat.

Official press release from the FDA:

In 2013, the FDA made a tentative determination that PHOs could no longer be considered GRAS [generally recognized as safe] and is finalizing that determination after considering public comments.

Since 2006, manufacturers have been required to include trans fat content information on the Nutrition Facts label of foods. Between 2003 and 2012, the FDA estimates that consumer trans fat consumption decreased about 78 percent and that the labeling rule and industry reformulation of foods were key factors in informing healthier consumer choices and reducing trans fat in foods. While trans fat intake has significantly decreased, the current intake remains a public health concern.

The Guardian:

The oils were popularized in the 1950s, when it was thought that they would be healthier than saturated fats. Americans turned to products such as trans fat-laden margarine in droves after the federal government recommended a cutback in saturated animal fats.

Today, there is a broad scientific consensus that the oils contribute to heart disease and are linked to type two diabetes.

A young nutritionist at the University of Illinois discovered some of the first evidence that the oils could be unhealthy in 1957, when he found large amounts of the fat in the clogged arteries of patients who died of heart attacks. The scientist, Fred Kummerow, followed that discovery with decades of scientific papers, despite that his findings wouldn't be widely accepted until decades later.

In August 2013, with the help of San Diego attorney Gregory S Weston, Kummerow sued the FDA for its inaction, saying it had violated the New Deal-era legislation that granted the FDA authority over food safety. By November, the FDA had responded to the lawsuit by issuing the tentative ruling.


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  • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 17 2015, @01:33AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 17 2015, @01:33AM (#197095)

    I went 3 links deep and still couldn't find what papers specifically they think are convincing. Trans-fats may or may not be dangerous but no one should take the information in those news stories and press releases as credible.

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  • (Score: 4, Informative) by takyon on Wednesday June 17 2015, @01:46AM

    by takyon (881) <takyonNO@SPAMsoylentnews.org> on Wednesday June 17 2015, @01:46AM (#197098) Journal

    Tentative Determination Regarding Partially Hydrogenated Oils; Request for Comments and for Scientific Data and Information [federalregister.gov]
    Section IV. Safety [federalregister.gov]

    FDA has summarized findings reported in the literature since the publication of the July 2003 final rule (Refs. 13, 14). Since 2003, both controlled trials and observational human studies published on trans fatty acid consumption have consistently confirmed the adverse effects of trans fatty acid consumption on intermediary risk factors (e.g., serum lipoproteins) and the increased risk of CHD (Ref. 13). Expert review panels from the IOM/NAS in 2005 (Ref. 2), the American Heart Association (Refs. 15, 16), the American Dietetic Association (Ref. 17), the World Health Organization (Ref. 18), the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (Refs. 19, 20), and the FDA Food Advisory Committee Nutrition Subcommittee (Ref. 21) agree that trans fat-mediated changes in lipid metabolism, pro-inflammatory effects, and endothelial dysfunction lead to dose-dependent increases in CHD events in humans. These expert panels all concluded that there is no threshold intake level for industrially-produced trans fat that would not increase an individual's risk of CHD, or adverse effects on risk factors for CHD. Moreover, the panels also agree that trans fatty acids have a stronger effect on the risk of CHD than saturated fatty acids.

    This significant recent evidence demonstrating the increased risk of CHD from consumption of any amount of trans fat means that consumption of PHOs, the primary dietary source of trans fat, also leads to increased LDL-C levels and an increased risk of CHD. These demonstrated effects support a determination that the consumption of PHOs could be harmful (i.e., increased risk for CHD) under any condition of use in food. Accordingly, we tentatively determine that this evidence erodes any basis to support the GRAS status of these oils, and therefore that there is no longer a consensus among qualified scientific experts that PHOs, the primary dietary source of industrially-produced trans fatty acids, are safe under any condition of use in food.

    We note that, in addition to an increased risk of CHD, trans fat consumption (and, accordingly, consumption of food products containing PHOs) has also been connected to a number of other adverse effects on health. Some studies suggest that trans fat consumption may worsen insulin resistance, especially in those who are predisposed to the condition (e.g., preexisting insulin resistance, greater adiposity, or lower physical activity levels) (Refs. 22, 23). Trans fat may also increase diabetes risk (Refs. 22-26) although this association requires further confirmation. In addition, there is some evidence that fetuses and breastfeeding infants of mothers who regularly consume trans fat may be at higher risk for impaired growth (which may be due to inhibition of the synthesis of essential polyunsaturated fatty acids that are needed for their growth and development) (Refs. 27-31). Scientific evidence also shows that, in addition toincreasing LDL-C, trans fat intake lowers serum high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C), a protective form of serum cholesterol (Refs. 32-39).

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    • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 17 2015, @02:08AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 17 2015, @02:08AM (#197104)

      I checked the first two references and they are not available:

      13. Memorandum from J. Park to M. Honigfort, August 10, 2005.

      14. Memorandum from J. Park to M. Honigfort, August 19, 2010.

      I also checked (ref 22: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16311100). [nih.gov] It's meh, basically no effect of the transfats, n=20 people, no real theory to explain the data, etc. From the sounds of it the others are going to be various review articles and I'll end up down the citation hole.

      • (Score: 2) by SubiculumHammer on Wednesday June 17 2015, @02:32AM

        by SubiculumHammer (5191) on Wednesday June 17 2015, @02:32AM (#197109)

        By citation hole, you mean the meat. Reviews are important.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 17 2015, @02:59AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 17 2015, @02:59AM (#197115)

          Reviews are important. Not reviews that cite other reviews. Of course it sometimes makes sense to do so "also check out this review", but only in addition to the primary evidence.

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 17 2015, @03:15AM

            by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 17 2015, @03:15AM (#197120)

            Here is a fun fact about how the world works: dig deep enough and you will hit an assumption. Nothing is exempt from that, not even hard science.

            Learn to accept it and be a better person for it. Oh, and do your own homework too. Bring links of your own if you find something, even if it is the lack of something.

            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 17 2015, @03:38AM

              by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 17 2015, @03:38AM (#197127)

              Here is a fun fact about how the world works: dig deep enough and you will hit an assumption. Nothing is exempt from that, not even hard science.

              There is no problem with that. There is a problem with the way people obfuscate and hide their assumptions. This is not necessarily malicious. When it comes to medical literature, most of the authors don't even realize what assumptions they are using. Either it is a stats assumption which 90+% don't understand, or it is the need for controls that they do not realize because our knowledge of the human body is rudimentary.

              I write out as many assumptions as I can think of, and still probably miss many. I also write prose, code, and equations to make my thought process as clear as possible. This seems like common sense to me, yet it is extremely rare in medical research.

              Bring links of your own if you find something

              Hard to tell due to AC posting but I do: https://soylentnews.org/comments.pl?sid=7966&cid=197114#commentwrap [soylentnews.org]

            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 17 2015, @03:49AM

              by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 17 2015, @03:49AM (#197131)

              Here is a fun fact about how the world works: dig deep enough and you will hit an assumption.

              I don't think you can prove that. Heh. I see what I did there.

            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 17 2015, @01:19PM

              by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 17 2015, @01:19PM (#197233)

              But if you're making assumptions when you can dig far deeper, then it isn't hard science at all. And it certainly isn't grounds for banning something.

  • (Score: 2, Interesting) by dusty monkey on Wednesday June 17 2015, @01:47AM

    by dusty monkey (5492) on Wednesday June 17 2015, @01:47AM (#197099)

    I think even more important is that the studies really need to show that trans-fats are significantly dangerous, since plenty of foods are objectively bad for you.

    Are eggs still considered bad for you? Is it just the yolks these days or have they flip-flopped yet again back to just the whites?

    --
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    • (Score: 3, Informative) by tibman on Wednesday June 17 2015, @04:08AM

      by tibman (134) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday June 17 2015, @04:08AM (#197141)
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    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 17 2015, @01:23PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 17 2015, @01:23PM (#197237)

      The word "significance" has been rendered useless by double assigned meaning. I avoid it other than as a curse word. It should be banned from polite society.

  • (Score: 5, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 17 2015, @01:53AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 17 2015, @01:53AM (#197100)

    Here's a couple:

    Nurses' Health Study:
    http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/scientific-case-for-banning-trans-fats/ [scientificamerican.com]

    background info: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nurses%27_Health_Study [wikipedia.org]

    Vanderbilt study on correlation between trans fat and death rate:
    http://news.vanderbilt.edu/2013/04/study-reveals-broad-dangers-of-trans-fats/ [vanderbilt.edu]

    Harvard School of Public Health study:
    http://archive.sph.harvard.edu/press-releases/2007-releases/press03272007.html [harvard.edu]

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 17 2015, @02:56AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 17 2015, @02:56AM (#197114)

      I followed this link: http://news.vanderbilt.edu/2013/04/study-reveals-broad-dangers-of-trans-fats/ [vanderbilt.edu]
      To this paper:http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/early/2013/04/02/ajcn.112.049064.full.pdf+html

      Table 1. Quintiles of trans fat intake. Look at row 3. There is huge correlation between trans fat and gender. Yet they write "No significant interactions were found between TFA and sex".

      That paper amounts to saying that the only reason women live longer is they eat less trans fats. Does that match the data?

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 17 2015, @03:07AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 17 2015, @03:07AM (#197119)

        In addition, this is a good resource: http://wonder.cdc.gov/ucd-icd10.html [cdc.gov]

        You can play around with that and see mortality rates by age for race/gender/etc for the years corresponding to that study (2003-2007). This trans fat effect either explains nearly all these differences or they are finding spurious correlations.
        http://www.tylervigen.com/spurious-correlations [tylervigen.com]

      • (Score: 1, Redundant) by c0lo on Wednesday June 17 2015, @03:58AM

        by c0lo (156) on Wednesday June 17 2015, @03:58AM (#197137) Journal

        Yet they write "No significant interactions were found between TFA and sex".

        How preposterous for you to suggest there is one!

        I mean, as much semantics you'd want to attach to the middle F, I'll never get how someone would imagine reading TFA has anything to do with sex.

        On the other side (and to be on topic)... I guess anyone can be forgiven if occasionally giving up a sexual encounter for some strips of crispy, saturated-fat saturated, bacon.... Mmmm!??...

        (large grin)

        --
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0
        • (Score: 0, Redundant) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 17 2015, @04:14AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 17 2015, @04:14AM (#197143)

          They divide TFA consumption into 5 quintiles (5 being highest). Here are the percent of females in each: 72, 63, 57, 48, 35.

          So, according to that study, if you consume a lot of TFA you are half as likely to have female sex.

          • (Score: 3, Funny) by c0lo on Wednesday June 17 2015, @06:53AM

            by c0lo (156) on Wednesday June 17 2015, @06:53AM (#197172) Journal

            They divide TFA consumption into 5 quintiles (5 being highest)

            Did they make a study on female SN users on their habits of reading The F*****g Article? And correlate this with the sexual life? Oh, wow, how silly of them... I mean... just think... the size of the sample set... representativeness and statistical significance to a wider population... whatnot.

            So, according to that study, if you consume a lot of TFA you are half as likely to have female sex.

            Oh, thank you for this info (gonna award you a +Informative too)!!
            Really, I promise to read The Fine Article as often as possible: as a straight oldish male, I'm really not attracted to the idea of being penetrated.

            (grin)

            --
            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0
            • (Score: -1, Redundant) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 17 2015, @02:49PM

              by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 17 2015, @02:49PM (#197282)

              Mod parent +6 Hilarious!

        • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 17 2015, @06:17AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 17 2015, @06:17AM (#197165)

          Really though. Pubmed gives 4 citations and google scholar shows 14 for that report. At least 3 reviewers had to have looked at it. I noticed a glaring flaw in under an hour (proof in the timestamps), and most of that hour was not even spent looking at the paper. In honesty it took about 15 minutes. WTF?

  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by c0lo on Wednesday June 17 2015, @03:32AM

    by c0lo (156) on Wednesday June 17 2015, @03:32AM (#197125) Journal

    Trans-fats may or may not be dangerous but no one should take the information in those news stories and press releases as credible.

    Because you failed to find the papers?
    (just curious, do you have a stake in a margarine operation?)

    --
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0
    • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 17 2015, @04:06AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 17 2015, @04:06AM (#197140)

      Because you failed to find the papers?
      (just curious, do you have a stake in a margarine operation?)

      We all have a stake in preventing pseudoscience from being presented as science. This requires vigilance and skepticism. I also know that, in general, medical research is of low quality. Since this is an area of research that most directly affects people's lives I consider that a great tragedy. I could care less about this specific thing and never looked into it until I saw this post. My initial guess is that this will most affect my life by making food more expensive.

      • (Score: 2) by c0lo on Wednesday June 17 2015, @04:24AM

        by c0lo (156) on Wednesday June 17 2015, @04:24AM (#197145) Journal

        We all have a stake in preventing pseudoscience from being presented as science. This requires vigilance and skepticism.

        Awww, my apologies for Poe-ing you.

        I also know that, in general, medical research is of low quality. Since this is an area of research that most directly affects people's lives I consider that a great tragedy.

        If people would stop being worried about what the medical research has to say and apply common sense in regards to food and eating, the life would be much more enjoyable.
        E.g. ... crispy bacon mmmm

        My initial guess is that this will most affect my life by making food more expensive.

        (ah, so you don't have any stake in a margarine operation, I'll need to search others partners)
        Can I tempt you into a transportation enterprise [soylentnews.org]?
        Or would you be rather interested on the marketing side of it? [soylentnews.org]

        (don't make me whoosh you, 'cause I'll do it next time)

        --
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0
        • (Score: 2) by tangomargarine on Wednesday June 17 2015, @06:51PM

          by tangomargarine (667) on Wednesday June 17 2015, @06:51PM (#197439)

          Maybe people wouldn't keep getting whooshed if you weren't facetious all the time.

          --
          "Is that really true?" "I just spent the last hour telling you to think for yourself! Didn't you hear anything I said?"
      • (Score: 2) by sjames on Wednesday June 17 2015, @10:03AM

        by sjames (2882) on Wednesday June 17 2015, @10:03AM (#197196) Journal

        There has been a great deal of credible research to show the harm of trans-fats. As a result, ever since manufacturers were forced to list trans-fats on food lables, the public has already voluntarily cut trans-fat consumption by 78%. The remaining consumption appears to be divided between foods where the manufacturer is playing games with figures to skirt the labeling and cheap junk that is fairly obviously just slightly better for you than pan -fried roach baits.

        It hasn't really driven food cost up and any minuscule savings will easily be consumed by the cost of your first stent.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 17 2015, @01:01PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 17 2015, @01:01PM (#197228)

          There has been a great deal of credible research to show the harm of trans-fats.

          That may be so, but the semi-random sample I just checked last night was not impressive at all. Bad research and scholarship practices all over the place.