The Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) has petitioned the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) “to approve specific low-level uses of partially hydrogenated oil (PHOs) in food products.” According to an August 5, 2015, press release, the petition seeks approval to use PHOs for color, flavor and texture when “important for the production of safe food products.” Because FDA revoked the generally recognized as safe (GRAS) status of trans fats on July 16, 2015, food manufacturers must now ask the agency to approve the ingredient for specific purposes.

“Our food additive petition shows that the presence of trans fat from the proposed low-level uses of PHOs is as safe as the naturally occurring trans fat present in the normal diet,” said GMA Chief Science Officer Leon Bruner. “It’s important to know that food and beverage companies have already voluntarily lowered the amount of trans fat added to food products by more than 86 percent and will continue lowering PHO use to levels similar to naturally occurring trans-fat found in the diet.”