In July 2003, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration ("FDA") announced that it would require mandatory trans fat labeling effective January 2006.
U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson
Starting January 1, 2006, all packaged foods must list trans fat content on their Nutrition Facts labels. Here is an example of the new label.
But watch out! There are two major problems with the new label, as noted below.
1. Under FDA regulations, "if the serving contains less than 0.5 gram [of trans fat], the content, when declared, shall be expressed as zero."
2. Note that there is no percentage for trans fat in the "% Daily Value" column. There is just a blank space. The FDA had previously proposed to put an asterisk in the % Daily Value column with a note that "intake of trans fats should be as low as possible." However, in response to food industry pressure, the warning has been dropped. You should act as if the advisory is on the label. Eat as little trans fat as possible.
The FDA had previously proposed to put an asterisk in the % Daily Value column with a note that "intake of trans fats should be as low as possible." However, in response to food industry pressure, the warning has been dropped.
According to the label, you should eat no more than 20 to 25 grams of saturated fat each day. But what about the daily trans fat limit? That's right, there isn't one. According to the new label, you can eat as much trans fat as you want!
Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson told a news conference on July 9, 2003 that "trans fats are bad fats. The less trans fat you and I eat, the healthier we will be." We wholeheartedly agree with Secretary Thompson. So why no warning on the label?
The Nutrition Labeling and Education Act of 1990 states that the FDA “shall” require that the declaration of nutrients “be conveyed to the public in a manner which enables the public to readily observe and comprehend such information and to understand its relative significance in the context of a total daily diet.” By omitting the warning, the FDA is violating the statute.
* * * * *
Click here for the very informative FDA webpage on the new labeling.
Click here for the FDA page on understanding the Nutrition Facts label.
Click here to read the comments that we submitted to the FDA on October 9, 2003 regarding unresolved labeling issues.
© 2003-06 BanTransFats.com, Inc.