In related news, Michael Moore has officially left the Democratic party.
(AP) – The Obama administration is making good on its pledge to all but ban trans fat nationwide.
The FDA issued a final decision Tuesday that gives the food industry three years to phase out partially hydrogenated oils, the main source of trans fat, which are still used in a wide variety of products from microwave popcorn to cake frosting.
The government’s goal is to prevent cardiovascular disease, but class-action attorneys are eager to use the ruling — even before it takes effect— to file lawsuits against deep-pocketed food companies that have continued to use the ingredient, even as the rest of the industry has masterfully reduced its use of trans fat by some 85 percent.
Food industry lawyers are poring over the document to see if FDA said anything that could help shield them from litigation.
“The class action lawyers have got their forks and knives out,” said Stefanie Fogel, partner and co-chair of the food and beverage practice at DLA Piper. Fogel wants to read the entire FDA ruling before weighing in on what exactly it means for the industry, but in general, she said, the agency is making it much easier for plaintiffs to claim that a food product is adulterated for containing trans fat.
Now that trans fats will be off the list of safe additives, any company that wants to use them will have to petition the agency to allow it. That would phase them out almost completely, since not many uses are likely to be allowed.