FDA announced it may no longer recognize partially hydrogenated oils (PHOs) as GRAS (generally recognized as safe), though it has not set a timeline for the phase-out. In 1999, FDA proposed manufacturers declare the amount of trans fat in a product on its nutrition label, and that rule was instituted in 2006. The new rules on PHOs are primarily aimed at improving public health, as CDC predicts a reduction of trans fat in the food supply could prevent 20,000 heart attacks and 7,000 deaths each year.
If GRAS approval is revoked for PHOs, they would be considered food additives, subject to pre-market approval from FDA. The agency is soliciting comments on how the regulations could affect small businesses.