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Chicago threatened it and now New York has gone and done it: banning trans fats from restaurant menus. In a unanimous decision, the New York City Board of Health has ruled that eateries must cease using most frying oils containing artificial trans fats and, by July 1, 2008, essentially stop use of all artificial trans fats in their dishes.
According to the Board's official press release (available here), “This proposal allows restaurants six months to switch to oils, margarines and shortening used for frying and spreading that have less than 0.5 grams of trans fat per serving. After 18 months, all other food items—including all margarines and shortenings—must contain less than 0.5 grams of trans fat per serving.”
The goal, of course, is to battle heart disease, to which trans fat is believed to be a serious contributor. (For a summary of comments and testimony, go here.) The question, of course, is whether the flavor/food industry could be next. We'd love to hear your thoughts, on or off the record, at firstname.lastname@example.org.