Trans Fat Labeling Battle Rages

Aug 14, 2002

Consumer groups despair that even if the amount of trans fatty acids is added to nutrition labels after nearly a decade of delay, it may not say enough, reports The Chicago Tribune. Expected before next spring, the Food and Drug Administration’s final ruling on how trans fat should be described on food labels is unlikely to be in a form preferred by consumer groups, or presented in a way that the FDA has previously suggested.

The FDA now favors listing, in grams, the amount of trans fat in food products without a recommended daily percentage next to it. Food watchdogs delivered a request for more stringent labeling this week.

The reason behind the FDA shift is a report released last month by the Institute of Medicine, part of the National Academies of Science, which bolsters claims by Wootan’s group and kick-started an all-but-stalled process to regulate trans fat labeling. The report suggests there really can’t be a recommended daily allowance for something as unhealthy as trans fat, and because of that, the FDA has found itself unable to require food producers to describe an acceptable percentage of it on food labels.

Moderator Comment: How should food manufacturers and retailers respond if there is agreement that trans fat should not be part of any consumer’s diet? [George
Anderson – Moderator

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