December 3, 2013
WASHINGTONRep. Steve Israel last month reintroduced legislation that would let consumers know if food contains at least some trans fat, however minute.
Current regulations permit food companies to label products that contain partially hydrogenated oils as having zero grams of trans fat if the value per serving is less than half a gram. Israel has criticized the regulations, pointing out that a consumer can unknowingly exceed the recommended consumption of trans fat by eating multiple servings of a product containing .04 grams in a day.
Under HR3612, otherwise known as the Trans Fat Truth in Labeling Act of 2013, food with some trans fat but less than half a gram would require that nutrition information on the label "indicate that the food has a low trans fat content per serving".
This is at least the fourth time Israel has introduced the legislation, according to GovTrack.us.
Israel, a New York Democrat who was first sworn into Congress in 2001, reintroduced the bill a few weeks after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) began the process to all but eliminate trans fat from processed foods. The agency preliminarily determined that the primary dietary source of artificial trans fatpartially hydrogenated oilsare not generally recognized as safe.
"Notwithstanding such preliminary determination, certain foods will still contain a certain level of naturally-occurring trans fats, and current laws and regulations, which only require that the labeling of food containing a certain threshold amount of trans fats bear that fact, will remain in effect," HR3612 states.
In a written statement following FDA's Nov. 7 announcement, Israel expressed confidence that the move would "lead to a drastic reduction in heart disease in the U.S."
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