Wisconsin Potato and Vegetable Growers Association

Potato Industry Well-Positioned on Recent FDA Action on Partially Hydrogenated Oils and Trans Fats

On June 16, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) officially announced its long anticipated regulation to revoke the “Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS)” status of partially hydrogenated oils (PHOs) – a source of artificial trans fatty acids (TFAs) – for use in food. The food industry has three years to completely phase out the use of PHOs. The potato industry is very well-positioned on this issue and knowing the importance of this issue to the industry, the Alliance for Potato Research and Education (APRE) has prepared its stakeholders for this FDA announcement.

Blair Richardson, United States Potato Board (USPB) President & CEO and current APRE Chairman of the Board, noted “With the announcement of FDA’s action on partially hydrogenated oils, and along with our processing partners and fellow Board Members, the industry is in agreement that APRE was out in front of this issue, the potato industry is now very well positioned.” Richardson added. “This is strong testament to the work APRE has accomplished the last four years in building a solid body of scientific evidence in support of the potato’s positive nutrition story.”

“Annually, $1 million of grower assessment revenue, through the USPB, helps fund APRE’s work. Potato growers have clearly spoken of the value they place on APRE’s mission of being…’100% dedicated to expanding and translating scientific research into evidence-based education initiatives that recognize the role of all forms of the potato—a nutritious vegetable—in promoting health for all age groups,’” concluded Richardson.

“From growers to potato food manufacturers to restaurants, the potato industry, as a whole, can be very proud in its demonstrated leadership to virtually eliminate the use of PHOs and trans fats from our food products far ahead of this government action. When the science became clear on trans fats, collectively, we moved quickly and decisively to offer great tasting, potato products that families can enjoy anywhere, any day,” stated Dr. Maureen Storey, APRE President & CEO.

Storey continues, “We saw the possibility of this coming, but there is still a lot of misinformation out there about French fried potatoes, so we needed to prepare for it.  There are a number of APRE resources available to the industry to highlight the potato industry’s leadership and clear up any misinformation on this issue with your respective stakeholders.” For more information visit: www.apre.org.

In follow-up to the FDA announcement, APRE engaged in a series of social media posts via Twitter (@SpudNutrition) and Facebook. Please share, like or retweet from your associations’ accounts and request your respective public relations firms and communications departments do the same.

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