Ban Trans Fats Says 94 Year Old Professor
In a petition to the FDA, 94 year old emeritus veterinary biosciences professor Fred Kummerow, says it is time to completely ban trans fats from the American diet. Professor Kummerow, who still conducts research at the University of Illinois has been studying the health effects of trans fats since 1958.
Professor Kummerow says, "Everybody should read my petition because it will scare the hell out of them." The petition is a 3000 word document that includes scary facts about Kummerow’s research on how trans fats lead to heart disease, displace essential omega fatty acids, raise bad (LDL) cholesterol levels, spawn inflammation in the blood vessels, and promote plaque buildup in the arteries.
Professor Kummerow’s research also shows that trans fats were passed to offspring in studies conducted on pigs.
According to the 94 year old research professor, the FDA has mislead the public by allowing food manufacturers to label products with less than one half gram of trans fats as containing zero grams.
In 1968 Kummerow urged the American Heart Association to intervene in asking the Institute of Shortening and Edible Oils to have its members decrease the amount of trans fatty acids in shortenings and margarines, replacing trans fats with essential fatty acids. He says, “Even then, there was strong evidence that trans fatty acids increased plasma cholesterol levels." After the changes were reluctantly made, the incidence of deaths from heart disease dropped dramatically.
Professor Kummerow is asking for comments. The FDA has 180 days to respond, and his petition was submitted August 7. The petition to ban trans fats forever from the American diet is available at the Regulation.gov, The docket number is 2009-P-0382.
Photo by L. Brian Stauffer, U. of I. News Bureau.