Rhubarb Pie à la Mode

Finally Banned: Trans Fats

Trans Fat HistoryFDA issued its final ruling Tuesday to effectively ban trans fats from the U.S. food supply. With people fighting tooth and nail about dietary fat recommendations, it’s remarkable that there’s not even a whimper of protest about this ruling. Businesses will have three years to comply. Everyone saw it coming and the evidence on health problems caused by trans fats has not been disputed for some time.

Trans fats have a convoluted history that began in the early years of the twentieth century when a German chemist patented the process for making them. Quickly after that Proctor and Gamble bought the rights to the patent and Crisco was on its way to becoming one of the giant food brands of that century — famous for yielding flaky pie crusts.

Ironically, trans fats were boosted as late as the 1980s by health concerns about animal fats. Nutrition activists were credited with pressuring the fast food industry to switch away from animal fats beginning in 1986, by using trans fats instead. Soon afterward — by 1994 — the understanding that trans fats represent a far bigger risk became clear. In 2003, FDA proposed labeling requirements for trans fats and growing public awareness began driving trans fats out of the food supply.

The 2007 ban of trans fats in New York City set the pattern for an eventual nationwide ban. Also in 2007, Proctor and Gamble reformulated Crisco to give it a “zero trans fat” claim.

And so it is that Crisco opened and closed the book on trans fats in the U.S. food supply.

Click here to read more in the Washington Post.

Rhubarb Pie à la Mode, photograph © cobalt123 / flickr

Subscribe by email to follow the accumulating evidence and observations that shape our view of health, obesity, and policy.


One Response to “Finally Banned: Trans Fats”

  1. June 30, 2015 at 7:20 pm, heart disease said:

    Іt’s a pity үou don’t have a donate button! I’d most certainly donate tο this brilliant blog! I suppose for noա I’ll settle for bookmarking and adding your RSS feed tо my Google account. І looκ forward to fresh updates and will share this site with my Facebook ցgroup. Chat soon!