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Originally published February 1 2007

L.A. enacts voluntary trans fat ban

by Beau Hodai

(NaturalNews) Following New York’s ban on the use of trans fats in restaurants last month, many cities across the country are considering similar plans to eliminate the artery-clogging ingredient. Los Angeles may be the first major metropolitan area to make the move, allowing a distinctly Californian twist.

Lawyers for the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors and LA City Council advised the officials that a local ban on trans fats would not be permitted by state law, so the group of officials manufactured an alternative: a voluntary ban by restaurants on trans fats.

Such a plan would be bolstered by incentives, such as window decals that would indicate to a potential customer whether an establishment is trans fat free or not.

The stickers “could help consumers decide if they want to go into a restaurant,” said Director of Public Health for Los Angeles County, Dr. Jonathan Fielding.

The non-law may not be necessary, according to some.

“I haven’t received one call from a restaurant saying it doesn’t want to make a change,” said Andrew Casana, spokesman for the California Restaurant Association.

“It’s a health issue that restaurants can’t ignore,” said Charlotte Austin-Jordan, who manages M&M’s Soul Food in downtown LA.

In August, Wendy’s announced that it will be cutting all trans fats from its menu. Taco Bell, Kentucky Fried Chicken, MacDonald’s and Starbucks have stated that they will follow suit.

"This is a creative solution for encouraging restaurants to eliminate trans fats from their menus," said consumer health advocate Mike Adams, author of "Poison In the Food: Hydrogenated Oils."

"Until trans fats are banned nationwide, which may take a long time due to FDA negligence, voluntary local bans may indeed prove to be very effective at protecting the public from this harmful dietary substance."


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