FDA supports more food labeling on fats

June 11, 2003 in Nutrition Labeling, Nutrition Topics in the News

FDA supports more food labeling on fats

U.S. FDA plans to expand food labeling to include such details as trans fats in an effort to counter obesity, the head of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said this week.

The FDA commissioner said a commission was due to present recommendations later this month on beefing up information on food products.

Trans fat, found in thousands of American products ranging from breakfast cereals to cookies, comes through a process of adding hydrogen gas to vegetable oil, which health experts say make them as unhealthy as real butter, if not worse.

Health experts complain few consumers know about the dangers of trans fats and their core ingredient, partially hydrogenated oils, are often buried in a long list of ingredients on present labels.

The new guidelines are expected to expand the nutrition label on products which now has calorie information but does not have complete information on dietary components such as trans fats. Canada's new and improved nutrition labels, legislated January 1, 2003, will contain information on trans fat.

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