updated 12/9/2005 3:48:10 PM ET 2005-12-09T20:48:10

Starting early next year, some products made by Kellogg Co. will contain oils derived from genetically modified soybeans to reduce or eliminate trans fatty acids and minimize saturated fats, the cereal maker said Friday.

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The company will begin using Vistive, an oil made from St. Louis-based Monsanto Co.’s genetically modified soybeans that is low in linolenic acid, an essential fatty acid. Kellogg said it will be one of the first food manufacturers to use the oil to lower levels of trans fat and saturated fats in its products.

Trans fats are found in vegetable shortenings and in some margarines, crackers, cookies, snack foods, fried foods, baked goods, salad dressings and other processed foods. Saturated fats are in animal products such as butter, cheese, whole milk, ice cream, cream and fatty meats.

Studies indicate that both types contribute to higher levels of LDL cholesterol — the bad kind — which can raise the risk of coronary heart disease, a killer of more than 500,000 Americans each year.

Due to a shortage of soybean oil that is low in linolenic acid, Kellogg will also work with the Bunge/DuPont Biotech Alliance to increase production of Nutrium, another low-linolenic soybean oil made from genetically modified soybeans.

Kellogg said it will begin using Nutrium in 2007.

The Battle Creek-based company did not specify the products that will be the first made with the oil. Kellogg’s products include Keebler cookies, Pop-Tarts toaster pastries, Eggo waffles, Cheez-It crackers, Nutri-Grain breakfast bars, and Rice Krispies cereal.

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