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The Los Angeles Times reports on the transformation by many companies of their products from containing trans fats to being free of the substance that is directly connected to heart disease.

“Subtle changes have been made in foods all over the grocery store — in pies, spreads, cookies, chips, puddings and frozen entrees, all with reworked formulations allowing their labels to proudly declare they contain zero trans fats per serving,” the LAT writes, noting that labels are legally required to contain trans fat information. “Medical experts welcome the new inclusion of trans-fat content on food labels and the removal of this heart-unfriendly fat from many of our foods. But the transition is still in its early days, with potential stumbling blocks for manufacturers and consumers alike.”

One of the biggest potential problems, according to experts, is that people will assume that just because something is trans fat-free, they can eat as much of it as they like. Which, of course, is not the case – people still need to avoid saturated fat.

And, there’s another problem. “Food labels, even if they declare that a foodstuff contains no trans fats per serving, can actually contain small amounts of the fat,” the LAT writes. “Under the new labeling regulations, any food with less than 0.5 grams of trans fat per serving can declare its contents as zero grams. (In contrast, the cut-off in Canada is set at 0.2 grams.)”
KC's View:
The food industry should not make the mistake of congratulating itself on being able to use loopholes such as these.

No matter what the regulations say, “zero” ought to mean “zero.” That’s what consumers expect. And in all probability, when they find out that “zero” doesn’t mean “zero,” they will not be happy.