In comments to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to be filed on 9 October, the US National Food Processors Association (NFPA) has voiced its opposition to the creation of a nutrition label footnote on trans fat.

The FDA is requesting comments on whether to consider statements about trans fat, either alone or in combination with saturated fat and cholesterol, as a footnote in the Nutrition Facts panel on food labels or as a disclosure statement in conjunction with claims to enhance consumers' understanding about trans and saturated fats and how to use the information to make healthy food choices.

Trans fat is believed to behave like saturated fat by raising LDL or "bad" cholesterol that increases the risk of heart disease. From 1 January 2006, US food manufacturers will be required to list the amount of trans fat contained in their product on the Nutrition Facts label.

"NFPA does not believe that a trans fat footnote should be considered by FDA," said Dr. Rhona Applebaum, NFPA's executive vice president and chief science officer. "It appears FDA's assumption is that one of the primary purposes of a footnote is to educate consumers. We respectfully disagree with this premise. Consumers must be educated about the need to restrict their intake of trans fat using tools more effective than a label footnote."