WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — New US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulations that ban food manufacturers to use partially hydrogenated oils have a loophole allowing them not to disclose trans fat content, Environmental Working Group (EWG) Director of Research Renee Sharp stated in a press release.
“We applaud the FDA for taking an important step that would eventually eliminate partially hydrogenated oils,” Sharp said on Tuesday. “[But] the FDA has failed to close the labelling loophole that allows processed food manufacturers to avoid full disclosure.”
The FDA set a three-year period for companies to reformulate products without using partially hydrogenated oils or petition the FDA to use trans fat.
However, EWG stated the new rules allow companies to label their food as “trans fat free” even if it contains 0.49 grams of trans fat per serving.
“People who eat a package containing several servings can unknowingly consume several grams of this dangerous substance,” EWG said in the press release.
Moreover, EWG argued the FDA rules do not prevent food processors from using other hidden sources of trans fat, including refined oils, fully hydrogenated oils, emulsifiers, flavours and colours.
Trans fats are found in foods including pizza, doughnuts, cakes, fried foods and potato chips. Trans fats are responsible for raising bad (LDL) cholesterol and lowering good (HDL) cholesterol levels. Eating trans fat raises the chances of developing heart disease and stroke, according to the American Heart Association.