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FDA Accepts GMA Petition Seeking Continued Low-Level Uses of PHOs in Food Products

GMA Press Contact

Brian Kennedy

office: 202-639-5994

(Washington, D.C.) The Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) issued the following statement by Dr. Leon Bruner, GMA’s chief science officer, regarding the decision by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) to accept for review industry’s food additive petition seeking approval for a specified set of low-level uses of partially hydrogenated oil (PHOs) in food products.

“FDA’s acceptance of our food additive petition marks the beginning of the agency’s formal review process and we look forward to working with the FDA on achieving approval for these proposed low-level uses of PHOs. Our petition shows that the proposed PHO uses are as safe as the naturally occurring trans fat present in the normal diet.

“GMA’s food additive petition is based on a comprehensive and highly detailed analysis of the latest scientific information available and provides the most current information about the amount of PHO consumed in U.S. diets today.

“Food and beverage companies have already voluntarily lowered the amount of trans fat added to food products by more than 86 percent and will continue lowering PHO-associated trans-fat to levels similar to naturally occurring trans-fat found in the diet.

“The food additive petition seeks approval of limited and specific PHO uses that are important for the production of safe food products. Examples of proposed continued uses include use as color and flavor carriers and to deliver consumer-desired textural characteristics that other oils cannot provide, such as flakiness in doughs. PHOs also function as essential processing aids such as pan release agents so that products do not stick to baking trays and rollers during the manufacturing process.”

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Based in Washington, D.C., the Grocery Manufacturers Association is the voice of more than 300 leading food, beverage and consumer product companies that sustain and enhance the quality of life for hundreds of millions of people in the United States and around the globe. 

Founded in 1908, GMA is an active, vocal advocate for its member companies and a trusted source of information about the industry and the products consumers rely on and enjoy every day. The association and its member companies are committed to meeting the needs of consumers through product innovation, responsible business practices and effective public policy solutions developed through a genuine partnership with policymakers and other stakeholders. 

In keeping with its founding principles, GMA helps its members produce safe products through a strong and ongoing commitment to scientific research, testing and evaluation and to providing consumers with the products, tools and information they need to achieve a healthy diet and an active lifestyle. The food, beverage and consumer packaged goods industry in the United States generates sales of $2.1 trillion annually, employs 14 million workers and contributes $1 trillion in added value to the economy every year.