California to ban trans fat

March 13, 2007

California has taken another step towards banning trans fats.

On March 6, the California State Assembly Health Committee passed, by a 9-4 vote, a bill that would phase out the use of oils, margarine and shortening containing trans fats starting 2009.

The ban will cover restaurants, bakeries, delicatessens and other businesses classified as “food facilities”. Violations could result in fines of $25 to $1,000. Food items sold in their manufacturers’ sealed packaging would be exempt.

If the bill gets passed, California will be the first US state (as opposed to cities like New York and Philadelphia) to ban trans fats. Similar bills have so far been introduced in at least 15 other states.

Earlier, attempts by California’s Los Angeles county to ban trans fats suffered a setback as legal advisors said the county lacked the authority to impose such a ban, which would have to be legislated at the state level.


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