According to the Wall Street Journal
, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Thursday decided that trans fats should not be considered safe for use in foods, a drastic change in policy that could lead to a ban on the artery-clogging ingredient.
Trans fats raise bad cholesterol levels, lower good cholesterol levels and increase people's chances of developing heart disease.
"While consumption of potentially harmful artificial trans fat has declined over the last two decades in the United States, current intake remains a significant public health concern," FDA Commissioner Margaret A. Hamburg stated in a press release. "The FDA's action today is an important step toward protecting more Americans from the potential dangers of trans fat. Further reduction in the amount of trans fat in the American diet could prevent an additional 20,000 heart attacks and 7,000 deaths from heart disease each year - a critical step in the protection of Americans' health."
The FDA said that food companies would be given 60 days to comment on the proposed action.