Monday, June 30, 2008

Trans(cending by City regulation)-Fats

Press Release received today on the NYC.gov-News list-serv:

New York City restaurants will be safer for the hearts of New Yorkers. The final phase of the City's trans fat regulation takes effect July 1, requiring restaurants to clear artificial trans fat from all their menu items. As of tomorrow, all foods served, including baked goods, oils, shortenings and margarines used for baking, and pre-prepared items that contain artificial trans fat, must have less that 0.5 grams of trans fat per serving.

For more information, please go to http://www.nyc.gov/html/doh/html/pr2008/pr047-08.shtml

I know this offends the libertarians, good for you. You sure love that Freedom. I think private businesses should be barred from using low-quality industrial food substitutes when doing so is known to be harmful to public health. Beyond the loss of life and detriment to health this causes, the economic effect of this "protection of freedom" is the transfer of wealth from the health-care system to the food industry, and disproportionately for the more profitable and politically-connected sectors of it. We need to keep our health care dollars in the health care system.

Also, sorry, but I am also not so simple-minded as to believe that this is going to change everyone's behavior or slip heart disease from it's top spot on the mortality and morbidity tables, so go on to your next talking point. I simply think it is piss-poor public policy to worship perfection as some counter-balance to the good. It helps. It benefits everyone. It's good government.

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