The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has confirmed its 2015 decision removing partially hydrogenated oils (PHOs) from generally recognized as safe status by denying a food additive petition seeking approval for the use of PHOs in some foods. The agency also extended the June 2018 compliance date for removing PHOs from food, citing trade associations that “informed us that, due to shelf lives ranging from 3 to 24 months, a variety of products containing non-petitioned uses of PHOs will be in distribution on, and for some time after, the compliance date in the final order,” according to the Federal Register announcement. For products manufactured before June 18, 2018, the enforcement date will be January 1, 2020.

FDA has also extended the compliance date for the uses of PHOs in the food additive petition, including (i) use as a solvent or carrier for flavoring or coloring agents; (ii) use as a processing aid; and (iii) use as a pan release agent for baked goods. For food manufactured with PHOs used for these purposes before June 18, 2019, the enforcement date will be January 1, 2021.

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For decades, manufacturers, distributors and retailers at every link in the food chain have come to Shook, Hardy & Bacon to partner with a legal team that understands the issues they face in today's evolving food production industry. Shook attorneys work with some of the world's largest food, beverage and agribusiness companies to establish preventative measures, conduct internal audits, develop public relations strategies, and advance tort reform initiatives.

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