They are used by snack manufacturers as they have an elongated shelf life as compared to other kinds of fat.
Back in the 1970s, Dr. Willett was one of the first researchers to sound the alarm about trans fats, a stance that earned him scorn from the food industry and even fellow nutritionists.
The agency made the announcement on Monday, May 14, as they launched an initiative called REPLACE that will be the goal for all countries looking to get rid of artificial trans fats from their food supply, as CNN reported.
Officials think it can be done in five years because the work is well underway in many countries.
Willett, who was an early voice in the fight against trans fats, further explains that the low cost of a full transition to much healthier fats when taken into account the huge payoff of the move should make the idea a no-brainer. They say the "payoff" in improved public health outweighs the costs of using a safer oil.
There are also naturally occurring trans fats in some meats and dairy products.
Earlier this month World Health Organization issued its first draft recommendations on trans fats since 2002, saying adults and children should consume a maximum of one percent of their daily calories in the form of trans fats.
"Trans fats are a harmful compound that can be removed easily without major cost and without any impact on the quality of the foods", Branca said. Tom Frieden, president of Resolve to Save Lives.
The first trans fatty food to hit the US market was Crisco shortening, which went on sale in 1911. For the record, Denmark had set an example for other nations by becoming the first to take an initiative of restricting the use of industrially manufactured trans-fats in food supply.
The WHO estimates trans fats lead to more than 500,000 deaths from cardiovascular disease every year. In addition to increasing the risk of heart disease, they can raise the levels of bad cholesterol in the body while lowering the levels of good cholesterol.
In this photo illustration, a Marie Callender's pie, which has 3.5 grams of trans fat, and Land O Lakes Margarine, which has 3 grams of trans fat, are seen together on June 16, 2015, in Miami Beach, Florida.
"The removal of trans fats from the food supply as an additive counts as one of the major public health victories of the last decade", said Laura MacCleery, policy director for the Washington, D.C. -based advocacy group, Center for Science in the Public Interest.