On August 8, The FDA issued a direct final rule reflecting its June 2015 final determination that the use of partially hydrogenated oils (PHOs) in foods is no longer Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS). The FDA had established January 1, 2021, as the final compliance date to remove PHOs from the food supply. This action addressed artificial sources of trans fat, with the understanding that trans fat will not be completely removed from the food supply because it occurs naturally in meat and dairy products and is present at very low levels in other edible oils.
The direct final rule:
- Revises regulations to no longer include PHOs as an optional ingredient in the standards of identity for peanut butter and canned tuna
- Revises FDA GRAS affirmation regulations to no longer include partially hydrogenated forms of menhaden and rapeseed oils
- Revokes the regulation for partially hydrogenated fish oil as an indirect food substance
- Revokes pre-1958 authorization for using PHOs in margarine, shortening, and bread, rolls and buns.
The direct final rule will be effective on December 22, 2023.