CSPI says report makes case for including trans on food labels

In 1994, the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) petitioned the FDA to require that Nutrition Facts labels disclose trans fat. In 1999, the Food and Drug Administration proposed to require trans fat labeling, but delayed finalizing a regulation, in part, to consider a report from the National Academy of Science’s Institute of Medicine, which was released today. Following is a statement from CSPI Nutrition Policy Director Margo Wootan:

“The National Academy of Sciences’ report is the first attempt by a panel of experts to set a safe intake level for trans fat. The panel found that, like saturated fat, trans fat promotes heart disease. Furthermore, the panel concluded that the only safe intake of trans fat is ‘zero.’ However, because it would be impractical to eliminate all trans fat from the diet, the panel recommended that people consume as little trans fat as possible. Yet it is currently impossible for consumers to follow the panel’s advice because the Food and Drug Administration does not require trans fat to be listed on Nutrition Facts food labels.

“This report leaves the FDA with only one choice: It should require trans fat to be labeled on the same line as saturated fat, using the current Daily Value for saturated fat. That’s what the Canadian government has already proposed. To list trans fat on labels with no Daily Value would confuse the public because it would give consumers no clue that they should consume as little trans fat as possible, as the NAS recommended today.”