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Trans fats

Study author calls on FDA to require truthful trans fat labeling (how about GMOs as well?)

Thursday, January 06, 2011 by: Ethan A. Huff, staff writer
Tags: trans fats, labeling, health news

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(NaturalNews) Many processed foods are loaded with trans fats -- including even those labeled as having "zero grams of trans fat per serving." The problem lies in the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) thwarted labeling requirements that permit certain "low" levels of trans fats to be labeled as zero, a deception that Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine student Eric Brandt says needs to change.

According to Brandt's recent study on the issue, which was published in the American Journal of Health Promotion, many people easily exceed daily recommended maximums for trans fat intake because FDA requirements dictate that foods with less than .5 grams of trans fat per serving be legally rounded down to zero, and labeled as such.

Overall fat content in foods with more than five grams of fat per serving must be labeled in increments of one gram. Those with less than five grams can be labeled in .5 gram increments. And anything lower than .5 grams can be labeled as having zero grams of fat. But with a threshold of 1.11 grams of trans fat per day, one can easily exceed this amount by consumer just three servings of "trans fat free" foods that contain as little as .37 grams of trans fat each.

Though these amounts may seem somewhat insignificant, studies have shown that even a slight increase in trans fat consumption can greatly increase one's risk of developing cardiovascular disease. And trans fat consumption is also linked to coronary heart disease, diabetes and sudden cardiac death.

Brandt is calling on the FDA to revise its labeling standards for trans fats in order to give consumers an accurate understanding of the trans fat content in foods they buy. And the best way to accomplish this is to require food manufacturers to label trans fat content in lower increments like .01 grams, for instance

Many are calling for similar labeling requirements for genetically-modified organisms (GMOs), which can be found in the vast majority of processed foods now sold in the U.S. but are not labeled. To learn more about the nationwide "Truth-in-Labeling" campaign for GMOs being conducted by the Organic Consumers Association (OCA), visit:

Sources for this story include:

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