FDA moves toward trans fat ban

by Walter Olson on November 7, 2013

KeepYourLaws“The Food and Drug Administration announced Thursday it is taking the first step toward banning dangerous trans fats that are found in a variety of processed foods. The agency said in a statement that the fats, used in a number of products from margarine and coffee creamer to frozen pizza, are a major health concern for Americans despite lower consumption of the dangerous, artery-clogging fats over the last twenty years.” [Chicago Tribune, our earlier coverage] More: Julie Gunlock, IWF; Scott Shackford, Reason; Michelle Minton, CEI (logic of removing ingredient from GRAS list based on long-term cumulative health effects could point toward regulating salt, sugar).

From comments: “Trans fats are pretty rare in my experience at this point outside of, ironically, military rations.” [L.C. Burgundy] More: Via Jacob Grier, Olga Khazan at The Atlantic recalls the days when the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) denounced restaurant chains for using saturated fat. The ensuing pressure campaign resulted in a widespread switchover to supposedly healthier trans-fat.

{ 8 comments }

1 wfjag 11.07.13 at 12:15 pm

I foresee a TV series spinoff for HBO:

“Boardwalk Empire – The Next Generation” – the story of Nuckie Thompson, IV, Bootleg Butter Runner — outwitting the Bloombergists by smuggling non-health foods into secret salons where Taste is King.

2 Dave Hitt 11.07.13 at 12:32 pm

When I was diagnosed with diabetes many years ago, I was sent to a nutritionist for dietary advice. One of her suggestions was that I switch from butter to margarine. I told her no, I trust a cow more than a chemist, and wasn’t going to give up the sublime goodness of butter for some chemical slime. Turns out she was recommending replacing a natural product, which is healthy in reasonable amounts, for a globs of dangerous trans-fats. I don’t fault her for that – she was providing the best information she had at the time.

That said, this is absurd. Anyone paying even a little attention knows that trans-fats are bad, and as you note, we’re not eating them much any more. The market is taking care of the problem. We don’t need more nanny regulations.

3 Turk 11.07.13 at 1:19 pm

The market is taking care of the problem.

Well, not entirely. The only reason you know that trans fats are in that packaged food is because the gov’t mandates it on the label.

4 Ilya 11.07.13 at 2:33 pm

The only reason you know that trans fats are in that packaged food is because the gov’t mandates it on the label.

Only? You don’t think some entrepreneurial and knowledgeable foodie or chemist would blow the whistle on this sort of thing? And do you think people only label because it’s government mandated? How about serving the vegan/vegetarian/kosher/halal/allergy/generally nutritionally-minded markets of people who actually check ingredients?

5 great unknown 11.07.13 at 4:04 pm

And attorneys are preparing test kits that can detect 1 part in a billion of trans fats so they can file class action suits.

6 L. C. Burgundy 11.07.13 at 4:22 pm

Trans fats are pretty rare in my experience at this point outside of, ironically, military rations.

7 TexJudge 11.07.13 at 6:49 pm

For those like I who went to school back in the day when substance was taught and political correctness did not exist, remember Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World when everyone had to eat a government dictated diet? Well, this is another step in that direction. I hate it when know it all bureaucrats with IQs considerably lower than mine deign to tell me what to eat.

8 L Nettles 11.07.13 at 8:45 pm

Baking biscuits with lard tonight

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