Trans fat labeling

In November 2002, FDA reopened the comment period on its final rule on mandatory trans fat labeling for an additional 30 days so that interested parties could weigh in on a footnote statement FDA plans to add.

The National Academy of Sciences issued a report on trans fat linking it with a higher risk of heart disease, but did not provide a dietary reference intake value for trans fat or enough information for FDA to establish a daily reference value.

FDA is proposing to require an asterisk (or other symbol) in the % Daily Value column of the nutrition facts panel that is tied to a footnote that says, “*Intake of trans fat should be as low as possible.”

FDA intends to publish a final rule on trans fat labeling early in 2003 that will require a declaration of trans fat content under the declaration of saturated fat. The agency said manufacturers may begin such trans fat labeling as long as the footnote statement is included in the nutrition facts panel. But it warned that if the final rule differs from what has been published to date, labels would need to be changed.

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