A new report issued by the European Commission advocates that the European Parliament take action on trans fat levels in foods by introducing (i) a mandatory label for foods with trans fat, (ii) legislation setting a limit on allowable trans fat content, (iii) voluntary agreements to reduce trans fat content, or (iv) guidance for national legal limits on trans fats in food. The report analyzes each option, noting possible benefits and drawbacks.

“Mandatory [trans fat] labeling would serve two purposes: (i) to provide incentives to the industry towards reducing [trans fat] from food products and (ii) to enable consumers to make informed food choices,” the report explains, noting the labels would have a limited impact if consumer awareness of the negative effects associated with trans fat is low. The report further finds that a legal limit on allowable trans fat content would provide the highest public health benefits, but an assessment of the problems associated with trans fat and an analysis of the proportionality of the action should be completed first.