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Weighing in on the “Trans Fat” Ban

Weighing in on the “Trans Fat” Ban

Saving America one doughnut at a time!

The federal government is regulating the American meal, again.

This time, the target is trans-fat!

The Obama administration is ordering food companies to phase out the artery-clogging trans fats that can lead to heart disease, the country’s leading cause of death.

The Food and Drug Administration announced Tuesday that it would require food makers to stop using trans fats — found in processed foods like pie crusts, frostings and microwave popcorn — over the next three years.

It turns out California has banned trans fats since 2008, when our “conservative” Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed a bill outlawing them. When I was at the local doughnut shop yesterday, with my husband (who requested the fat-laden extravaganza for his Father’s Day Breakfast), I asked the proprietor about living with the trans fat ban.

She explained that while she readily complied with the rules, at added expense passed onto the customer, some other shops continued using the banned ingredients. She noted that several were closed temporarily, until legal items arrived. These facilities were then regularly reinspected for compliance.

Imagine this on a large scale. It is anticipated that the conversion will cost food manufacturers billions .

The FDA estimates the cost of the transition to food manufacturers will be $12 billion to $14 billion. They will have to pay to research and test new ingredients plus reprint labels and repackage products, which could cost up to $200,000 per product, estimates Roger Clemens, a pharmacology professor at University of Southern California.

“It’s not a cheap endeavor,” he says. “The flaky texture of a croissant, of a pie crust are really expectations. (It) takes a lot of food science to understand the chemistry of those interactions so you can duplicate it without compromising the product.”

The billions will be passed down to consumers. I suspect that given the reliance on processed foods in urban communities, Obama’s most ardent supporters will be hardest hit.

Recall that the fact trans-fat was originally promoted as the healthy alternative to animal lard in cooking and baking; and I would be remiss if I didn’t note that the nation’s top nutrition advisory panel decided to drop its four decades-long warning about the dangers of eating eggs and other cholesterol-laden food. So, besides the cost increases, expect some more of those pesky unintended consequences related to implementation of this new policy.

Reason contributor David Harsanyi deduces the most likely reason this ban is now in place, while other substances known to cause obesity and other health problems (high-fructose corn syrup and alcohol) continue to flow:

After years of pressure from trial attorneys and junk-science public interest groups, the Obama administration has followed through with its pledge to ban what is—in the amounts most Americans ingest—a benign ingredient. But even if it’s not, we have labels for a reason. It’s unlikely the ban will do anything but create precedents that allow further intrusions into how and what we eat. Which is precisely the point.

I also suspect a combination of lobbying and donations from health food activists pushing their agenda and products as well.

In terms of real health effects, we can estimate the likely success of the new plan by looking at California. Our ban began effectively in 2009.

Since then, the obesity rate has risen faster than dough!

In 2001, no California county had an adult obesity rate that exceeded the Healthy People 2020 goal of 30.5%. However, by 2012, 21 of California’s 58 counties had adult obesity rates of 30.5% or more.

Once again, the administration acts to solve a problem that didn’t exist while ignoring one serious crisis after another. On Jan. 20, 2017, I plan to celebrate with doughnuts and champagne.

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Comments

Not A Member of Any Organized Political | June 23, 2015 at 6:11 pm

RE: Cali’s Ban on Trans-Fat – “Since then, the obesity rate has risen faster than dough!

In 2001, no California county had an adult obesity rate that exceeded the Healthy People 2020 goal of 30.5%. However, by 2012, 21 of California’s 58 counties had adult obesity rates of 30.5% or more.

Once again, the administration acts to solve a problem that didn’t exist while ignoring one serious crisis after another. On Jan. 20, 2017, I plan to celebrate with doughnuts and champagne.”

Yeah. Your Federal Government on Psycho-Speed Drugs…. It ain’t a pretty sight so hide the children!

Henry Hawkins | June 23, 2015 at 6:31 pm

YOU’LL GET MY TRANSFATTY DOUGHNUT WHEN YOU PRY IT FROM MY COLD, DEAD HAND.

Lard. Lard is the answer. Give lard a chance.

Some of these sombitches just cannot stand for people to enjoy…anything.

    jhkrischel in reply to Ragspierre. | June 23, 2015 at 6:38 pm

    ++Lard. I’m all for banning trans-fats that were pushed on us by eco-terrorist-greenie-vegetarians in the first place.

    That all being said, if you really want to take a bite out of obesity, it’s not just corn syrup that causes that, it’s carbohydrates in general. That means that whole grain muffin, that organic bagel, and that baked potato are effectively just as bad as drinking a sugary pepsi.

      Ragspierre in reply to jhkrischel. | June 23, 2015 at 6:57 pm

      Well, sorta. Beans…which are pretty good for us…are mostly carbos, too. A salad is carbs, principally.

      There’s fat and also the endocrine effects of carbs, which vary hugely. A baked potato, loaded with nice fats and some proteins from cheese and bacon (num!) is WAY more healthy than a piece of cake.

      That’s my story, and I damn sure am sticking with it!

      But, ultimately, just eat, enjoy, and live. Nobody gets outta here alive…

    Sanddog in reply to Ragspierre. | June 23, 2015 at 8:47 pm

    Transfats were pushed on us by the same junk science loving morons who demonized lard, tallow and coconut oil.

It’s not as much of an overreach as you think, always provided that they defined the oils properly, which I would assume is not necessarily the case.

It’s absolutely true that trans-fats were once touted as a healthy, clean alternative to lard, and this was an enormous mistake. They do make a nice looking-and-non-greasy-feeling product, which makes them so attractive in baked and fried goods. That is part of the problem.

The bad fats are the ones that are solid, not at room temperature, but body temperature. They get into the bloodstream as teeny globules, and accumulate in capillaries. I know of a American family that had a generation that died off in their mid-to-late eighties, and then lost an entire generation in their fifties. This was eventually traced to a switch from lard to Crisco as the main cooking fat.

Our government has made other seriously bad dietary recommendations. The demonization of egg yolks is one, the overemphasis of carbohydrates is another, and the war on table salt is yet another.

In my opinion, the government needs to get out of the business of telling people what to eat, because its recommendations have promoted, and continue to promote, a disastrous obesity epidemic. Failing that, I am willing to tolerate a ban on trans-fats with a melting point above about 97 degrees Farenheit.

Bitterlyclinging | June 23, 2015 at 7:05 pm

Former EPA Administrator Al Armendariz, on EPA enforcement techniques “You enter into a new area the way the Roman did. You grab the first five males you see and crucify them. Everyone else goes along after that”
Al’s problem wasn’t the technique, his problem was that he got caught saying that.

Sammy Finkelman | June 23, 2015 at 7:11 pm

nobody is going to inspect anybody – more than they do for correct labeling. It is not needed because this is on a national basis.

Transfats simply won’t be manufactured for the food industry. It won’t be in the normal stream of commerce. Nor does it do anything valuable enough for someone to start a black market

in the case of the California ban, it was.

Transfats only got started because they were supposed to be more healthy. It turns out they are not, and they are worse than what they substituted for..

Sammy Finkelman | June 23, 2015 at 7:21 pm

I wonder if it carbohydrates, or if it is anything made from finely ground flour.

In any case the best diet is intermittent near fasting.

This is: One day eat maybe 500 calories, and the next day whatever you want. It will work out to about 110% of what used to be a normal day. There is no need to follow or stick to an exact schedule.

The details of exactly what to do have yet to be worked out.

I thought all things Trans are good? Transsexual, Transracial, so why are Trans Fats bad?

It’s not really a “trans-fat ban” because trans fats occur naturally in the animals humans have been eating since the beginning of time. They are banning the same things they forced us to eat 25 years ago, like margarine.

Ruminant trans fats, from cows and sheep, are completely natural and considered healthy. The most well-known ruminant trans fat is conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), which is believed to be beneficial by many and often consumed as a supplement.

Do we need protection, or education? Before we sign on to more massive regulation (which means before we vote for anybody promoting this ban) lets look at some medical journals.

Americans, in response to publicity and the healthy diet trends, have reduced their intake of trans-fats all by ourselves. In 2003, the average US adult consumed 4.6 grams of artificial trans fats per day. This has now been reduced to 1.3 grams per day.

We don’t need these regulations, which seem more likely to fatten the government payroll than slim down the citizens. Vote the bums out!

Lard actually makes much better cookies and pie crusts. Mmmm. Good think I live in Europe where baking traditions still call for lard and you can still buy it at the supermarket in convenient 500 g (a little over a pound) containers. LOL!

“…which could cost up to $200,000 per product, estimates Roger Clemens, a pharmacology professor at University of Southern California.”

Wait! I though his specialty was steroids…

Banning transfats would definitely impact kosher bakeries, which can’t use lard or suet, since they’re not kosher, and prefer not to use butter, since then their pastries could not be eaten after a meat meal.

Who the h*** has a problem with kashrut? What are you, some kind of antisemite?

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