The National Association of Margarine Manufacturers (NAMM) and American Bakers Association (ABA) have submitted comments to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA’s) rulemaking docket about the agency’s tentative determination to remove partially hydrogenated oils from the generally recognized as safe (GRAs) list. NAMM contends that “the great majority of margarine products no longer contain partially hydrogenated oils (PHOs), the source of trans fat, and that margarine is not a significant contributor of trans fats to the American diet.” In fact, NAMM suggested that margarine, with two- thirds less saturated fat than butter, 25-percent fewer calories than butter, no cholesterol (compared to 30 mg. in butter), and no trans fat, is a healthier alternative.

The ABA, meanwhile, commented that “bakers face unique challenges in removing remaining low levels of trans fat containing PHOs from certain bakery products.” It also found FDA’s tentative determination flawed, including its burdens of proof and failure to “account for probable consumption levels of trans fat, as well as inaccurately [take] into account cumulative effect[s] of trans fat.” See NAMM Press Release, March 11, 2014; ABA Press Release, March 12, 2014.