WASHINGTON – The Food and Drug Administration has extended by an additional 60 days the comment period on its determination that partially hydrogenated oils (PHOs) no longer belong on the list of ingredients generally recognized as safe (GRAS). The new deadline is March 8, 2014.

"This extension is being provided in response to numerous stakeholder requests to provide additional time for comments," the agency said. "F.D.A. is expediting publication of a notice in the Federal Register and will issue a Constituent Update when the exact publication date is known.

The agency announced its plan in November. If F.D.A.'s preliminary determination is finalized, then (PHOs) would become food additives subject to premarket approval by the agency. Foods containing unapproved food additives are considered adulterated under U.S. law, meaning they cannot be sold legally.