U.S. Representative Steve Israel (D-N.Y.) has introduced a bill (H.R. 1486) that would amend federal labeling laws concerning trans fat content in food. The Trans Fat Truth in Labeling Act of 2011 would “direct the Commissioner of Food and Drugs to revise the federal regulations applicable to the declaration of the trans fat content of a food on the label and in the labeling of the food when such content is less than 0.5 gram.”

Effective 18 months after the date of enactment, the law would (i) “require that the nutrition information on the label or labeling on an applicable food contain an asterisk or another similar notation and a note to indicate that the food has a low trans fat content per serving” and (ii) “prohibit the label or labeling on an applicable food from indicating that trans fat content per serving is zero.” Applicable foods would be defined as foods for which (i) “the trans fat content of a serving of the food is less than 0.5 gram and greater than 0.0 gram” and (ii) “the trans fat content of a serving of the food is declared in the nutrition information on the label or in the labeling of the food.”

Meanwhile, Israel has also introduced a bill (H.R. 1487) that would prohibit the use of the arsenic compound roxarsone as a food additive. The Poison-Free Poultry Act of 2011 would amend the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act and take effect one year after enacted into law.

According to Israel’s blog, EPA estimates that the average American adult eats more than 60 pounds of poultry yearly, and that much of it contains roxarsone, “a harmful form of arsenic that is added to make the birds grow faster and to make their meat appear artificially more pink.” Israel wrote that roxarsone is an “arsenic-containing antimicrobial drug” that remains in the edible portions of chickens and has been found in poultry waste, “where it poses environmental and human health risks when the waste is managed.”