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Trans fats

NYC to hold public hearing on trans fat ban; health consumers rally at TransFatFreeNYC.org

Wednesday, October 18, 2006 by: Ben Kage
Tags: trans fats, hydrogenated oils, food ingredients


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(NewsTarget) The New York Department of Health and Mental Hygiene has caused a stir among both health proponents and food producers with its proposed ban of trans fats in city restaurants, while food producers say that the relatively small amount of trans fats in their food is safe. Now, one health educator is rallying people in support of the ban.

The proposal, put before the department of health Sept. 26, would give New York restaurants six months to exclusively switch to oils, margarines and shortening that contain less than 0.5 gram of trans fat per serving, and 18 months to ensure all of their food contains that same amount of trans fat. Studies have shown that trans fats, which gather in the body when people consume hydrogenated oils, increase LDL (bad) cholesterol, lower HDL (good) cholesterol, and less than five grams a day may increase the risk of heart disease by 25 percent.

Despite this information, critics of the proposal have called it "Orwellian," and a broad, "one-size-fits-all" idea, and legal experts expect lawsuits from food companies if the ban passes. Before it can pass, though, it must be presented at a public hearing Monday, and that's where the Trans Fat Free NYC movement comes in.

According to the www.TransFatFreeNYC.org -- created by Institute for Integrative Nutrition founder Joshua Rosenthal -- consumers are encouraged to gather Monday at Thomas Paine Park, and then go directly across the street to 125 Worth St., where the hearing is being held, to "show the Department of Health that New York is fed up with trans fat." A petition in support of the proposals, aimed at Secretary to the Board of Health of the New York Department of Health Rena Bryant, is also available at the site.

Experts say that members of the restaurant industry, including Charles Hunt of the New York State Restaurant Association, are sure to attend the hearing to criticize the proposal, but TransFatFreeNYC.org notes that "chefs, doctors, nurses, health counselors, concerned parents, entertainers, the service industry and the business community" are also expected to gather in support of the ban. Keynote speakers on the subject are also set to attend the rally, although specific names have yet to be announced.

"Hydrogenated oils, which contain trans fatty acids, are a form of poison in the food supply," says Mike Adams, author of "Poison In the Food," a Truth Publishing report on hydrogenated oils. "Food companies have known about the detrimental health effects of hydrogenated oils for decades, yet continue to use the ingredient. It is now time for the people to step in and tell the food companies they cannot continue the poison the population with this harmful substance.

"I encourage all NewsTarget readers who live in NYC to attend this meeting and voice your views on trans fatty acids," he added.

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