“Back to basics, Dr. Frieden”

by Walter Olson on March 3, 2007

While the NYC Health Commissioner was squandering the city’s credibility on trans fats (“totally replaceable“, you betcha) and hatching Big Brother schemes for diabetic-watching, the traditional and basic functions of his office, like keeping rats out of restaurants, were going untended, notes an editorial in the Post. “The Taco Bell in question had received a, you should pardon the expression, clean bill of health from one of Frieden’s restaurant inspectors 24 hours before the rats were taped doing their “Happy Feet” impressions last Thursday morning. …Of course, if the Taco Bell rats had been smoking, Frieden would have been there to nail the door shut himself.” Andrew Stuttaford at NRO thinks it’s long past time for Frieden to go. (cross-posted from Point of Law).


1 Amsterdamsky 03.03.07 at 10:44 am

This is the only thing I think I have ever disagreed with you guys on. Trans-fats are not found in nature and are pure poison. They should be banned everywhere.

2 Melvin 03.03.07 at 12:11 pm

Amterdamsky, just remember–the same groups and gov’t agencies were TOUTING the “good” in trans-fats 15-20 years ago, when it was butter bad, margarine good. Any bets in 15-20 years, we’ll hear trans-fats are good, once again?

3 Amsterdamsky 03.04.07 at 3:55 am

Good (actually great) point but I think the motivation was that they were cheap and we got a marketing snow job. Another reason why I don’t trust doctors.

4 Amsterdamsky 03.04.07 at 3:59 am

Actually, it is happening already. Statins are being pushed to deal with the damage done by trans-fats and other artery choking foods. You are exactly right. After selling billions in prescription and non-prescription statin products it will be found that they cause strokes or something and the whole cycle begins again!

5 jb 03.04.07 at 6:01 am

maybe so. But ought this be a higher priority than stopping rat infestations?

6 Amsterdamsky 03.04.07 at 10:31 am

“But ought this be a higher priority than stopping rat infestations?”

Do they need to be mutually exclusive? I agree again on your point which is probably why you are a (probably very good) lawyer and I am a biologist. I can avoid restaurants that look dirty but I can’t do anything about trans-fats if I don’t know. I have actually been shocked how pervasive the use of cheap palm oil trans fats are(Starbucks scones?) The only one that probably benefit from having them around are cardiologists and heart transplant surgeons.

7 Jim Collins 03.05.07 at 8:34 am

I see what we have to look forward to in Pittsburgh. Allegheney County passed a smoking ban that was supposed to take effect last Jan., but implimentation was stopped by a court order. Over the last several weeks all we have heard on the news is how under manned and under funded the County Department of Health is. Guess who’s supposed to enforce the smoking ban?

8 Reformed Republican 03.05.07 at 5:01 pm

The only one that probably benefit from having them around are cardiologists and heart transplant surgeons.

Or people who enjoy the texture of food which cannot easily be replicated with other types of fats that do not come from animals.

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