melonThe FDA published the final rule on July 11, 2003, and states that any conventional food or dietary supplement that is produced and shipped in interstate commerce after January 1, 2006 must comply with the labeling requirements of the final rule.

Any product that has left the manufacturers possession and is part of another firm’s inventory (distributor) prior to January 1, 2006 may be distributed and sold after this date (as long as they do not enter interstate commerce). There is no deadline by which these products need to be sold. However, products previously labeled without trans fat and in the manufacturers possession cannot enter interstate commerce on or after January 1, 2006.

Trans fatty acids should be listed as “Trans Fat” or “Trans” on a separate line under the listing of saturated fat in the Nutrition Facts Label. Trans fat content must be expressed as grams per serving to the nearest 0.5-gram increment below 5 grams and to the nearest gram above 5 grams. If a serving contains less than 0.5 gram, the content, when declared, must be expressed as “0”.

If a product qualifies for a “simplified” Nutrition Facts Panel, has a “0” value for total fat, and there are no nutrient claims made about trans fat, total fat, saturated fat, or cholesterol, trans fat does not need to be declared. In the absence of these claims, the statement “Not a significant source of trans fat” may be placed at the bottom of the table of nutrient values in lieu of declaring “0g” of trans fat.

Food producers may petition the FDA to use up old label stock; cases will be determined on an individual basis.

To update your Nutrition Facts Panel, call or E-mail:

Wendy Hess, MS, RD
Consulting in Nutrition Analysis