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Wegmans reacts to FDA ban on trans fats

WASHINGTON (AP) - The FDA is announcing Thursday that it will require the food industry to gradually phase out trans fats, saying they are a threat to people's health.

Commissioner Margaret Hamburg says the move could prevent 20,000 heart attacks a year and 7,000 deaths.

Hamburg says that while the amount of trans fats in the country's diet has declined dramatically in the last decade, they "remain an area of significant public health concern."

The agency isn't yet setting a timeline for the phase-out, but will collect comments for two months before officials determine how long it will take.

Trans fat is widely considered the worst kind of fat for your heart. They are often found in processed foods, including some microwave popcorns and frozen pizzas, refrigerated doughs and ready-to-use frostings.

Wegmans sent 13WHAM a statement on the FDA announcement: 

We all depend on the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to continually evaluate the safety of ingredients in the food supply.  Wegmans agrees that these artificially produced fats can increase the risk of heart disease.  However, FDA must also consider unintended consequences.  That is, they must be confident that the fats chosen to replace partially hydrogenated oils are no worse for health.  

Wegmans has long been aware of health concerns regarding trans fats.  Weve been removing trans fats from our products since 1991 when we first switched from partially hydrogenated soybean oil to liquid soybean oil in breads and rolls.  Since then weve reformulated many more products, though we still have work to do.  Its a relatively easy task when a simple switch allows quality to be maintained while improving nutrition.  However, some products have presented challenges in that either the quality or the healthfulness of the products have suffered.  We keep re-working formulas until the product meets both goals:  improved nutrition and great quality.

Jane Andrews MS, RD Wegmans Nutrition and Product Labeling Manager

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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