New York City Becomes First Big City to Ban Trans Fats

Bucking intense restaurant industry opposition, New York City has banned all added trans fats in restaurant food. The ban was passed by the city's Board of Health on December 6, 2006, and takes effect in July 2007. Donut makers get a one-year reprieve in order to find a substitute oil for the deep-fried dough. The board's action also included a requirement that restaurant chains post nutritional information. "We're not trying to take away anybody's ability to go out and have the kind of food they want in the quantities they want," said Mayor Michael Bloomberg. He said that health department estimates show that the ban on hydrogenated oils could save hundreds of lives annually. Dan Fleshler, spokesman for the National Restaurant Association responded, "We're deeply disappointed. We would prefer to do this voluntarily. Restaurants have been moving on their own in response to customer demand and eliminating trans fats." The Center for Consumer Freedom, a national front group for the restaurant and beverage industry, had vigorously fought the ban and immediately issued a statement headlined "Are Calories Next?", calling the ban "unprecedented in its paternalistic scope."


If you subscribe to the Center for Media and Democracy's "Spin of the Week," you will note that we have changed the link on this story from the New York Daily News to CMD Board Member Anna Lappé's article on Alternet. You can still read the Daily News, piece, which claimed that New York City was first city in the nation to ban trans fats, by clicking [[ here]].