A question of labelling

Published: Friday 31 March 2000

Hydrogenated fat, also called trans fatty acids, are used by the food industry to increase shelf life and flavour in a wide variety of products, including french fries, crackers, cookies and snack foods. But some scientific studies have linked trans fatty acids to premature heart disease. For instance, trans fatty acids can increase blood levels of harmful cholesterol known as low-density lipoprotein, which is an important contributor to heart disease. Now, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has said that consumer food labels must list the amount of trans fatty acids. The FDA will also persuade food companies to reduce the amount of trans fatty acids in foods.

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