Pretty soon, Americans will have to say sayonara to trans fats forever. The FDA could pass a measure to ban trans fats like partially-hydrogenated vegetable oil in the food industry nationwide as early as June 15, according to The New York Post. The FDA already stated in 2013 that “trans fats are generally not considered safe,” and two years later, there will likely be a law to back that strong statement. Trans fats are strongly linked to obesity and heart disease.
Although many restaurants and chains like Panera Bread have committed to barring the use of what the Mayo Clinic has called “the worst type of fat you can eat,” it can still be found in processed cheese and fried foods or foods cooked in oil like French fries, fried chicken, and burger buns (which are often dipped in butter). For instance, a Whopper with cheese contains two grams of trans fats, and an Applebee’s quesadilla has 1.5 grams of trans fats.
The FDA ban would mimic former New York City mayor Bloomberg’s trans fat sanction, which passed in 2006 and led New York to become the first city in America to ban the controversial substance. However, even if the national measure did pass this summer, Americans might still be able to consume trans fats outside of restaurants: pie crust, packaged mozzarella sticks, many type of microwavable popcorn, and margarine are still lurking in our grocery stores.
“Mayor Bloomberg was a leader in this public health battle and the measure in New York really showed that this could be done,” Jim O’Hara, director of health promotion policy at the Center for Science in the Public Interest told The New York Post. “This is going to be a huge win for the public health.”