If food product labels are simplified, who makes the call on nutrition values?

The Institute of Medicine has a big idea.

To present nutrition information in such a way that, apparently, a 2-year-old can understand, the IOM has proposed a new label system. Stars, or a similar simple graphic, would be used to rate nutrition factors, including saturated and trans fats.

Oh brother. We know where this one is headed.

Saturated fats and trans fats… That’s like comparing apples to land mines. As we’ve often seen, dangers of saturated fats are wildly exaggerated. Many foods with saturated fats contain omega-3 fatty acids and other important nutrients.

Meanwhile, trans fats are pure junk.

I’d love to ask someone at the IOM if this would mean the end of the trans fats lie. It’s the lie that all food producers are allowed to tell. As I’ve mentioned before, any producer can claim that a product has “zero trans fats” if it contains less than half a gram of trans fats per serving.


Seriously, if IOM officials try to convince the FDA and the food industry to let go of that bald faced lie, they’ll get laughed out of the building.

“Panel Proposes Nutrition Labels that Reach for the Stars” Eliza Barclay, NPR, 10/20/11, npr.org

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