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FDA-Approved Trans Fat Labeling Policy Misleads Unsuspecting Consumers - Study

January 3, 2011: 12:13 PM EST

Misleading – but government-approved – food labeling practices can result in a major intake of detrimental trans fat, according to a U.S. study. The vague labeling policy can cause consumers to exceed the daily recommended value of 1.11 grams of trans fat from processed foods, leading to adverse long-term health side effects. Current U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) labeling rules allow a product containing .49 grams of trans fat to list the trans fat content on the label as zero, thus masking a significant amount. According to study author Eric Brandt, the agency should revise its labeling protocol to require food labels to report trans fat content in smaller increments. That would enable consumers to recognize significant levels of trans fat in foods and avoid or manage their intake.

Eric Brandt, "Deception of Trans Fats on Food and Drug Administration Food Labels: A Proposed Revision to the Presentation of Trans Fats on Food Labels", American Journal of Health Promotion, January 03, 2011, © American Journal of Health Promotion
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