FDA reviewing food additive petition to cover limited uses of PHOs.

  • As previously covered on this blog, FDA announced that there is no longer a consensus among qualified experts that partially hydrogenated oils (PHOs) are generally recognized as safe (GRAS) under any conditions of use in food.  Following the Agency’s action, the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) submitted a food additive petition to FDA seeking approval of specific low-level uses of PHOs, up to a maximum consumption level of 1.5% of a person’s daily energy.
  • GMA has indicated that FDA’s formal review of the petition is underway.  The petition seeks approval of low-level uses of PHOs in a variety of food categories including protein drinks, chewing gums, pie fillings, frozen pizza, baked desserts, salad dressings, baking mixes, and shortening, among many others.  A copy of the full petition is available here.
  • Although FDA has given the industry a three-year compliance period in which to remove PHOs from the food supply, questions remain about the legal status of PHOs in food while FDA’s review of the food additive petition is underway.  Keller and Heckman recently hosted a webinar on the impact of FDA’s trans fat announcement on the food industry, focusing in particular on class action lawsuits related to the presence of PHOs in the food supply.  A recording of our webinar (including the slide deck) may be found here.