New York City Considering Trans Fats Ban

Posted on September 27, 2006

An article on says that New York City is considering imposing a ban on trans fats. This would place a big burden on restaurants that serve foods like french fies and doughnuts.

The city health department unveiled a proposal Tuesday that would bar cooks at any of the city's 24,600 food service establishments from using ingredients that contain the artery-clogging substance, commonly listed on food labels as partially hydrogenated oil.

Artificial trans fats are found in some shortenings, margarine and frying oils and turn up in foods from pie crusts to french fries to doughnuts.

The ban would cause major problems for local restaurants and major chains but the NYC Health Commissioner Thomas Frieden said a substitute could be found.
Health Commissioner Thomas Frieden acknowledged that the ban would be a challenge for restaurants, but he said trans fats can easily be replaced with substitute oils that taste the same or better and are far less unhealthy.

"It is a dangerous and unnecessary ingredient," Frieden said. "No one will miss it when it's gone."

The NYC proposal would give restaurants until July, 2007 to make changes.
Under the New York proposal, restaurants would need to get artificial trans fats out of cooking oils, margarine and shortening by July 1, 2007, and all other foodstuffs by July 1, 2008. It would not affect grocery stores. It also would not apply to naturally occurring trans fats, which are found in some meats and dairy.
The article says Chicago is considering a similar trans fats ban. Information about trans fats can be found on these websites:

  • American Heart Association FAQ
  • Ban Trans Fats Campaign
  • FDA
  • Trans Fats 101
  • Wikipedia

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