CSPI submitted a letter to Food and Drug Administration (FDA) urging the agency to halt trans-fat claims on products that contain high levels of saturated fat.
"Some manufacturers misleadingly publicize the absence of trans fat to convince consumers that the manufacturers' products are healthful," CSPI's letter to FDA states. "However, '0 grams trans fat' claims on products that contain excessive amounts of saturated fat mislead consumers by implying that the food does not raise serum cholesterol levels or the risk of heart disease."
Casting the baking industry in the spotlight, CSPI's letter singled out two specific bakery foods as misleading consumers:
* Mrs. Smith's Apple Pie: This product features a red banner that claims "0 grams trans fat per serving," but contains 7 grams of saturated fat per serving.
* Sara Lee Pumpkin Pie: This product also claims 0 grams of trans fats, but contains 4 grams of saturated fat.
"Just because a food doesn't have trans fat, doesn't by itself make it a health food," says Michael Jacobson, CSPI's executive director. "Companies shouldn't foster confusion by making trans-fat claims on foods high in saturated fat, and FDA shouldn't let them get away with it."
CSPI urged FDA to establish a rule that mimics an existing rule prohibiting food companies from making "saturated fat free" claims on foods that have trans fats. CSPI says the agency should have a corresponding rule prohibiting "0 grams trans" claims on foods high in saturated fat. The daily value for saturated fat is 20 grams, making products with 4 grams or more saturated fat per serving "high" sources of saturated fats.