ABA is disappointed that FDA chose a novel approach to address partially hydrogenated oils through a GRAS determination instead of a more appropriate formal rulemaking that requires thorough economic, environmental, and small business impact analyses. Short changing the regular rulemaking process deprived FDA of critically important stakeholder feedback and data collection. ABA supports FDA’s intent of further reducing exposure to trans fats and applauds its members for their tremendous efforts over the past decade to significantly reduce trans fats in bakery products.
Nonetheless, ABA is pleased that the Agency was responsive to its strong recommendations for an orderly transition by providing a three-year compliance period. This action provides bakers and other food makers adequate time to further formulate to other, healthier alternative, as well as address a number of practical challenges including packaging changes and availability. ABA and its members are appreciative that FDA recognizes the complexity of this issue.