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FDA may ban trans fats from most foods

BY Alaric DeArment

SILVER SPRING, Md. — U.S. regulators made a preliminary move Thursday to remove trans fats from food products.

The Food and Drug Administration announced a preliminary determination that partially hydrogenated oils, the main source of artificial trans fats in processed foods, are not "generally recognized as safe" to eat. The determination was based on scientific evidence and findings by expert panels, and the agency said it would spend the next 60 days collecting additional data and accepting comments – including from food manufacturers on the time needed to reformulate products that contain trans fats – before finalizing its determination. If that happens, partially hydrogenated oils would be considered "food additives" and would be prohibited from use in foods unless authorized by regulation, though the agency would give producers time to reformulate products in order to minimize market disruption.

Trans fats are widely blamed for cardiovascular disease, and many food manufacturers and retailers have already removed them from their products, often advertising them on packaging, but they remain in processed foods like certain desserts, microwave popcorn, frozen pizzas, margarines and coffee creamers.

"While consumption of potentially harmful artificial trans fats has declined over the last two decades in the United States, current intake remains a significant public health concern," FDA commissioner Margaret Hamburg said. "The FDA’s action today is an important step toward protecting more Americans from the potential dangers of trans fat."

According to the FDA, thanks to efforts by manufacturers and retailers and public education, trans fat consumption has gone from 4.6 grams per day in 2003 to about 1 gram per day in 2012.

 

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Holiday Wheat Thins to hit store shelves nationwide

BY Ryan Chavis

EAST HANOVER, N.J. — Nabisco’s Wheat Thins Holiday will hit store shelves nationwide this week.

The limited-edition snack has the same 100% toasted whole grain, but will feature festive imprints — a snowflake, gingerbread man, bell and candy cane — that will provide additional holiday cheer.

The suggested retail price is $3.69 for a 8.5-oz. box.
 

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Activate Drinks expands distribution to Stop & Shop, Shaw’s

BY Ryan Chavis

LOS ANGELES — Activate Drinks will expand distribution of its line of nutrient-enhanced waters to East Coast grocery retailers Stop & Shop and Shaw’s, the company announced on Monday.

Beginning in November 2013, 400 Stop & Shop locations will carry six varieties within the Activate portfolio, which includes Activate Beauty: Exotic Berry, Activate Defy: Pomegranate Blue, Activate Defend: Orange, Activate Charged: Grape and Lemon Lime and Activate Balance: Fruit Punch.

148 Shaw’s grocery stores throughout the Northeast also will carry the product. Activate has already been available to shoppers at Market Basket in the New England region for the past year.

“Activate Drinks has seen great success on the East Coast since its debut in January, and the expansion into Stop & Shop, Shaw’s and Market Basket is an amazing next step for the brand,” Reza Mirza, President of Activate Drinks said. “This new distribution will certainly increase our efforts to make Activate Drinks a household name, and we look forward to the brand’s continued expansion throughout the country.”

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