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FDA to ban trans fats within three years

BY Lesley Thulin

SILVER SPRING, Md. — The FDA announced on Tuesday that it determined that partially hydrogenated oils, the primary dietary source of artificial trans fat in processed foods, are not generally recognized as safe for use in human food, according to a statement. The FDA is mandating that food manufacturers remove PHOs from products within the next three years.

“The FDA’s action on this major source of artificial trans fat demonstrates the agency’s commitment to the heart health of all Americans,” FDA's Acting Commissioner Stephen Ostroff, M.D, said. “This action is expected to reduce coronary heart disease and prevent thousands of fatal heart attacks every year.”

The announcement comes after a 2013 conclusion that PHOs could no longer be considered GRAS.

Although consumption of trans fat has decreased by 78% between 2003 and 2012 — progress that the FDA attributes to the labeling rule for trans fat and industry reformulation of foods — the FDA still considers current consumption a public health concern.

The FDA currently allows foods lowed to be labeled as having 0 g of trans fat if they contain less than 0.5 g of trans fat per serving. These servings include PHOs, which contain artificial trans fat in processed foods.

“Studies show that diet and nutrition play a key role in preventing chronic health problems, such as cardiovascular disease and today’s action goes hand in hand with other FDA initiatives to improve the health of Americans, including updating the nutrition facts label,” Susan Mayne, Ph.D., director of the FDA’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, said. “This determination is based on extensive research into the effects of PHOs, as well as input from all stakeholders received during the public comment period.”

The FDA-issued, three-year compliance period will allow companies to reformulate products and/or petition the FDA to use PHOs in products, according to the statement. After the three-year period, PHOs can only be added to human food with the permission of the FDA.

The FDA predicts that many companies will remove PHOs before the three-year deadline.

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Mondelez International appoints Mohit Bhalla VP, corporate development

BY Lesley Thulin

DEERFIELD, Ill. — Mondelez International has named Mohit Bhalla as VP, corporate development. Bhalla will lead global merger, acquisition and divestiture projects for the global snacking company.

“We couldn't be more pleased to have a seasoned M&A executive with Mohit's credentials joining our team,” EVP and CFO Brian Gladden said. “As we continue to transform the company, M&A will be a key lever to help us expand our global footprint and focus our snacking portfolio. I'm confident that Mohit brings all the skills and experience we need to succeed in this arena.”

Bhalla previously served as VP, strategy and business development at Altria Group. He has also worked at Eastman Chemical Company and Citigroup, with a BA in chemical engineering from the University of Texas at Austin and an MBA in finance and accounting from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.

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ZICO teams with Jessica Alba for summer campaign

BY David Salazar

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. — The company behind ZICO Coconut Water has joined forces with actress Jessica Alba to promote its summer campaign. The Crack Life Open campaign is meant to encourage consumers to “flourish from the inside out,” as the campaign’s tagline goes. The tagline appears on ads with Alba alongside floral illustrations by artist Adam Larson. 
 
“Life is full of compromises, but we think your body shouldn’t be one of them,” ZICO’s chief marketing officer Lorna Peters said. “The reality is, you can't Crack Life Open if your needs consistently fall to the bottom of your to-do list. The goal of our 2015 campaign is to make people pause and think about the ripple effect of our actions — and how prioritizing everyday personal growth lets us flourish from the inside out and get the most from life.”
 
Alba, whose 2013 book “The Honest Life” was a New York Times bestseller, is also the founder of the Honest Company, which sells eco-friendly and responsibly made products for families. 
 
“In our 24/7 society, I’m a firm believer in focusing on what you can control and what brings the most meaning and personal satisfaction to your life,” Alba said. “There’s no one-size-fits-all definition for what it means to Crack Life Open, but to me, flourishing starts with being aware of the choices I make every day — including what I put in my body — which allows me to think differently, push boundaries and practice gratitude.”

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