Proposal Could End Trans Fat Labeling Loophole

December 2, 2013

The "Truth in Trans Fat Labeling Act" would change the game for labeling foods with small amounts of trans fats.

With FDA recently coming out against artificial trans fats in finished food products, the agency’s proposal still does nothing to address natural trans fats in the local diet. These fats are present in foods such as meat and dairy in small amounts, but the American Heart Association advises that consumers eat no more than 2 g daily. A loophole, however, allows finished products with less than 0.5 g of trans fats to be labeled as containing 0 g of trans fats.

Without proper warning, consumers may easily surpass the American Heart Association’s recommended limit-which is why U.S. Representative Steve Israel (D-NY) introduced the Trans Fat Truth in Labeling Act.

If passed, the Trans Fat Truth in Labeling Act would require an asterisk next to any listed serving of trans fats above 0 g but under 0.5 g. A disclaimer at the bottom of the nutrition facts panel would read, “Contains less than 0.5 grams trans fat.”