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Manufacturers Already Giving Up Trans Fats continued...

In a statement, the association says 95% of food makers had reduced trans fats and that the majority have plans to get rid of them.

Marisa Moore, RD, a spokeswoman for the American Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, calls the FDA’s proposal a “major win.”

While the levels of trans fats have declined in recent years, she says they are still found in fried foods, doughnuts, snack cakes, and cookies.

The proposal to further reduce trans fats, she says, ''will make the healthy choice a little bit easier."

The Center for Science in the Public Interest issued a statement supporting the move. "Not only is artificial trans fat not safe, it's not remotely necessary,” says CSPI Executive Director Michael F. Jacobson. “Many companies, large and small, have switched to healthier oils over the past decade. I hope that those restaurants and food manufacturers that still use this harmful ingredient see the writing on the wall and promptly replace it."

Johnson of the Snack Food Association says she does not know how long it will take to phase out trans fats from processed foods.

If the timeline to remove the trans fats is too brief, some products may disappear, says Janet E. Collins, PhD, RD, president of the Institute of Food Technologists. Trans fats serve a function, making cakes tender and snack foods crisp, she says.

"Manufacturers have been looking for substitutes," she says, and some are available. Even so, she estimates, it could take 2 years to get the artificial trans fats entirely out of the food supply.

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