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NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF MARGARINE MANUFACTURERS ISSUES STATEMENT IN RESPONSE TO QUESTIONS ABOUT THE USDA'S TRANS FATTY ACID STUDY

 NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF MARGARINE MANUFACTURERS ISSUES STATEMENT
 IN RESPONSE TO QUESTIONS ABOUT THE USDA'S TRANS FATTY ACID STUDY
 WASHINGTON, Oct. 7 /PRNewswire/ -- In response to questions about the USDA's trans fatty acid study, the National Association of Margarine Manufacturers (NAMM) issued the following statement today:
 The National Association of Margarine Manufacturers agrees with the position of researchers involved in a recent study which evaluates the effects of dietary trans fatty acids on blood lipid levels. The researchers have said that based on the research, dietary changes should not be encouraged and there is a need for additional investigation. Accordingly, this study should not affect the continuing advice of dietary experts to moderate total fat intake and to keep saturated fat at 10 percent of total calories over time.
 The research study has yet to be peer reviewed or published.
 While overall intake of trans fatty acids in the American diet has remained relatively stable since 1970, their consumption from margarine products has decreased because of more use of liquid vegetable oil in these products and the growing popularity of soft margarine and low-fat vegetable oil spreads. Over this same period, linoleic acid, an important dietary constituent found in margarine products, has increased slightly in the average diet. Margarine products also are a good source of vitamin A, contributing 10 percent of the recommended daily intake per tablespoon.
 Consumers who use margarine as part of a low-saturated-fat diet can continue to do so with confidence (margarine and vegetable oil spreads can have up to 70 percent less saturated fat than butter). Also, even in the most extreme interpretation, stick margarine (which tends to have a higher degree of hydrogenation) will still contain significantly less combined trans and saturated fat as a corresponding serving of butter. Butter also contains 31 mg of dietary cholesterol while vegetable-based margarine contains zero. Soft margarine and reduced-fat spreads compare even more favorably. Other foods that contain trans fatty acids include shortening and industrial-type cooking oil, snack chips, dairy products, and butter.
 Trans fatty acids are unsaturated fatty acids that are formed during hydrogenation, a process that solidifies liquid vegetable oils. The degree of hydrogenation dictates how much trans fatty acid is in the product.
 The margarine industry has long been an innovator in the development of cholesterol-free, low-saturated-fat products and continues to rely heavily on the scientific community to guide it in the development of nutritionally sound products. Many of NAMM's members provided financial support of the USDA study to determine the effects of trans fatty acids on the American diet.
 The National Association of Margarine Manufacturers is the association of margarine and margarine product manufacturers and their suppliers.
 -0- 10/6/92
 /CONTACT: Joseph B. Morris of the National Association of Margarine Manufacturers, 202-785-3232/ CO: National Association of Margarine Manufacturers ST: District of Columbia IN: FOD SU:


BN-EA -- AT006 -- 7519 10/07/92 14:32 EDT
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Date:Oct 7, 1992
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