The U.S. Food and Drug Administration's proposal to ban partially hydrogenated oils could result in unintended consequences, such as the substitution of ingredients that contain higher levels of saturated fatty acids, writes AOCS member Eric Decker of the University of Massachusetts. The risks of PHOs are difficult to assess because consumption of trans fats has declined dramatically in the past decade and most studies haven't measured the health effects of such low levels, he notes. There is a lack of funding for food and nutritional studies that could provide the scientific evidence on which food regulations should be based, Decker writes.

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