Trans fat labeling...continued

The Grocery Manufacturers of America and the National Food Processors Assn. offered their comments to the Food and Drug Administration on how trans fat information should be included on food labels.

NFPA opposes the inclusion of a Daily Value (DV) for trans fat, arguing a lack of data to support such a DV and divergent conclusions by various scientific bodies and organizations on the subject. NFPA also opposes any nutrition label footnote or consumer message relating to trans fat. Trans fat is too complicated an issue to be explained in such small space, NFPA said, adding that food label education should occur off the label. NFPA urged FDA to

• create a system for disclosing saturated fats, under certain conditions, when trans -fat-free claims are made;

• amend the criteria for a “saturated fat-free” claim to require disclosure of trans fat, under certain conditions;

• consider treating trans fat and saturated fat as complementary nutrients; and

• require saturated fat content over defined levels to be disclosed for the “trans-fat-free” claim and vice versa.

GMA said trans fat labeling should be part of a comprehensive strategy to best achieve public health goals. Proper sequencing and timing are key, GMA told FDA. Issues to focus on, in order, are proper implementation of the final rule on quantitative trans-fat labeling; regulatory initiatives that promote reformulation to reduce trans fat; and a comprehensive review of the Nutrition Facts panel.

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