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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: 3, Informative) by VLM on Wednesday June 17 2015, @12:11PM

    by VLM (445) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday June 17 2015, @12:11PM (#197220)

    low lead tub faucets

    If its any consolation back in my old chemistry days I got to work with lead compounds in the lab so safety was an issue that was discussed and with the sole exception of weird organometallics (you'd know if they're in your water because you'd already be dead) lead doesn't cross the skin barrier very well, not well at all. There are some studies of old electronics industry employees (back when we had an electronics industry) and old ham radio/electronic/computer types and the TLDR is metallic and simple ionic lead has been measured to be not much of an issue. We have no shortage of gun culture people who are exposed to quite a bit of lead over their lifetimes, and they have to do pretty dumb things to get poisoned although if they try really hard it can happen. A faucet isn't gonna do it.

    There are also some rather obvious dosage issues based on water velocity. I was thirsty this morning and walked up to the sink and drank some water that had marinated in the faucet for about 8 hours, its very important that faucet be lead free, which it is. On the other hand in the shower a couple minutes later the water that flows thru the faucet only gets to dissolve the leaded valve and pipe for a few milliseconds on its way out the shower sprayer. So a shower valve with many orders of magnitude more lead would expose me to less lead than a kitchen faucet... assuming I drank shower water full of shampoo and soap and shedded hairs and WTF else, of course.

    Lead pretty much has to involve your mouth to poison you, either drinking or eating, other than (insert chemistry oddities)

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  • (Score: 2) by tathra on Wednesday June 17 2015, @03:04PM

    by tathra (3367) on Wednesday June 17 2015, @03:04PM (#197292)

    the issue with non-sink faucets having higher lead content isn't some worry about transdermal absorption, its that people drink water from them all the time. i've drank from outside spigots more times than i can count, people will fill large pots from the bathtub to cook with if they can't fit the pot in the sink, etc. non-"drinking" faucets are drank from all the time.

    • (Score: 2) by VLM on Wednesday June 17 2015, @03:26PM

      by VLM (445) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday June 17 2015, @03:26PM (#197316)

      people will fill large pots from the bathtub to cook with if they can't fit the pot in the sink

      That's an interesting hack, I like that idea. Its heavy, however. I've done a lot of 2 qt koolaid jug bucket work to fill large containers. I imagine my canning pressure cooker must weigh a hundred pounds when its fully loaded so slinging something like that around is non trivial.

      I don't think I've drank from a hose since I was a little kid although I'm sure it happens. Flow rate would probably save you, when I drink a cup from my kitchen faucet I might only draw a cup of water thats been marinating in the faucet, but outside out of a hose the duration of time the water spends in contact in a flowing hose must be extremely small, fractions of a second, likely.