ASA Chairman Danny Murphy, CEO Steve Censky and NOPA President Tom Hammer met with the White House Domestic Policy Staff and FDA to discuss ASA’s concerns with the FDA’s proposal to withdraw Generally Regarded As Safe (GRAS) status for partially hydrogenated oils (PHO). ASA shared projections for high oleic soybean production ramp up provided by QUALISOY, emphasizing that not only is more time required, but that the withdrawal of GRAS, even if postponed to 2018 or 2020, will have the immediate effect of driving food companies to substitute highly-saturated palm oil since no company wants to have an ingredient in their product for multiple years that the FDA says is “unsafe.”ASA emphasized this would be a bad development for both consumers and American farmers. ASA also emphasized that there has already been a 70 percent reduction in trans fat intake since labeling for trans fats was mandated beginning in 2006, and that the easy switches have already been made. FDA seemed interested in whether the food/soy industry might be able to develop a standard of identity for soybean oil that limited the amount of trans fats contained in it. ASA will explore this concept with industry and the soy family.