I agree with you on this point. The problem I see is unless every restaurant is required to list this information on the menu how do you know which foods are either cooked in trans fats or have had them added. Not everyone fries in trans fat oils anymore. Wendys made the switch for example.
The following is part of a NY Times article.
The Board of Health vote comes a year after it conducted an unsuccessful campaign to persuade restaurants to eliminate trans fats from their recipes voluntarily. It said yesterday that despite mass mailings about the hazards of trans fats and training programs for 7,800 restaurant operators, about half the city s restaurants continued to serve trans fats, about the same as before the campaign.
Looks like they voluntary approach didn’t go over too well in the restaurant industry.
Look what happened when the government make food manufacturers list trans fats on packaged food in the grocery store. It disappeared from a lot of products.
I hate to see the government do this but if it passes in New York I think it will spread and be better for all of us who eat out.
I understand that the NYC Board of Health (a government agency) sent out some literature. But I’m talking about ads like "Truth" which IMO are far more evective at getting people to quit smoking thatn banning smoking at bars. I’m talking about getting non-profits and lobbyists to generate radio, tv and bilboards that not only educate people, but tell people which restaurants are still using tran fat oils in their restaurants even knowing the health risk it provides.
So far, it sound as if the government agency alone has done the research (or farmed it out) and the asking. A law will come through with amendments, addendums and compromises which will get passed as satisfy only a very few. Not to mention the expensive lawsuits which will likely arise out of banning a "food." And, I think cutting the number of restaurants that use trans fat oils in half with one campaign is pretty good. More campaigns and more public oriented campaigns should continue.
As you stated, having companies list ingredients led to the companies getting rid of the tran fat oils. But, IMO, it’s a big leap from forcing companies to LIST an ingredient versus BANNING an ingredient.
On the whole, sure it makes sense to me to get rid of those types of oils. But it seems like the beginning (or next step in a series of steps) of legislative manipulation of what people can and can’t eat.
And, as a whole, we need to be careful about the kinds of things we make a law. If we exhaust all other means, then maybe we need a law. But, I haven’t seen the emphasis of getting rid of trans fat oils, like the kind of stuff that Truth has been doing for smoking. You can’t go anywhere without seeing their ads.
With obesity being an epidemic in this country, certainly there’s money from government agencies, non-profits and other organizations to go after trans fat oils with the same vigor than anti-smokers have.