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US Proposes Eliminating Trans Fats

FILE - Alexes Garcia makes cinnamon rolls - using apple sauce instead of trans fats - for students' lunch, in the kitchen at Kepner Middle School in Denver, January 2012.
U.S. regulators have moved toward eliminating artificial "trans" fats that are linked to heart disease from the nation's food supply. The Food and Drug Administration has proposed prohibiting their use in food after a period allowing manufacturers to find alternatives.

Trans fats are mainly found in processed foods like margarine, frozen pizzas, and some desserts. Health authorities say they are responsible for 7,000 deaths and 20,000 heart attacks each year in the United States.

Consumer groups are applauding the announcement as a major step to protect public health.

The proposal will go through a 60-day comment period before being finalized.

Partially hydrogenated oils are the main source of trans fats, though small amounts are found naturally in some meat and dairy products.

The U.S. Institute of Medicine has concluded that there is no safe level of consumption.

Many manufacturers already have replaced trans fats in their products, and consumption in the U.S. has been declining.