The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has released the final determination that partially hydrogenated oils (PHOs) are not generally recognized as safe, or GRAS, for use in human food. However, in the final determination, FDA responded to the American Feed Industry Associations's request clarifying the prohibition only applies to human food and not animal feed.
In late 2013, FDA published its proposed determination that PHOs are no longer GRAS and said it would apply to "food" in general. AFIA submitted comments noting to FDA that while nothing in the determination pinpointed it would or should cover animal food, clarification was needed to prevent confusion.
"The FDA's definition of 'food' represents both food for human consumption and food for consumption by animals other than man," said Leah Wilkinson, AFIA director of ingredients, pet food and state affairs. "Vegetable oils and partially hydrogenated oils have been deemed as safe ingredients in the animal food industry for decades, and we are glad FDA recognized that fact in its final determination today."
Vegetable fats and oils, some of which may be PHOs, have been a defined ingredient by the Association of American Feed Control Officials since 1989. The clarification by FDA will ensure these vegetable oils will remain as GRAS ingredients for animal feed allowed in the diets and rations of livestock, poultry, aquaculture and companion animals.