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MEDIA NEWSWIRE

FDA Devises Trans Fat Limits On Food Labels
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has proposed limits on trans fat on several nutrient content claims found on food labels. Restrictions on trans fat would change the nutrient content claims as follows:

  • * "Low saturated fat" claims would be permitted only when there is less than 0.5 grams of trans fat per serving and 1 gram or less of saturated fat.

    * "Reduced saturated fat" claims would be permitted only when there is at least 25 percent less saturated fat and trans fat combined and at least 25 percent less saturated fat.

    * Cholesterol claims would be permitted only on food containing 2 grams or less of saturated fat and trans fat combined.

    * "Lean" claims would be permitted when, besides meeting limits on total fat and cholesterol, the food contains 4.5 grams or less of saturated fat and trans fat combined.

    * "Extra lean" claims would be permitted when, besides meeting limits on total fat and cholesterol, the food contains less than 2 grams of saturated fat and trans fat combined.

    * The proposed new "Trans fat free" claim would be permitted in the labeling of foods that contain less than 0.5 grams of trans fat and less than 0.5 grams saturated fat per serving.

    * Foods with more than 4 grams of saturated fat and trans fat combined per serving would also not be able to carry health claims related to sodium, hypertension, calcium, osteoporosis, etc.

  • However, such foods' labels would be permitted to bear nutrient content claims (e.g. "low sodium") if they also have the statement, "See nutrition information for saturated fat content."

    The FDA is seeking comments on the proposed rule. The proposal is on the Internet at www.access.gpo.gov/su_docs/. Submit written comments by April 17 to Dockets Management Branch, HFA-305, Food and Drug Administration, 5630 Fishers Lane, Room 1061, Rockville, MD 20852.

    (Faith Peppers is the director of public affairs with the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.)

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