Thursday, November 09, 2006

Heart Association Caveat on Trans Fat Ban

In what appears to be counterintuitive, the AHA has quietly submitted testimony that raises questions-not on the "substance" of the trans fat ban, but on the details of its implementation. As reported in the Heartwire newsletter, the Association feels that they can only "conditionally" support the proposed ban.

"Speaking with Heartwire, AHA president Dr. Robert Eckel...said the sudden removal of trans-fatty acids from restaurants is not a practical solution...He said the ban is unrealistic and unfairly punitive to the food and restaurant industry." Eckels, echoing our position on the implementation issue, said "the AHA would like to see a ban phased in slowly, giving restaurants time to adapt, as well as insuring that heart-healthy oils are available, both physically and financially, to restaurants looking to make the change."

A further concern of the Heart Association is "that restaurants and bakeries would replace the partially hydrogenated vegetable oil with saturated fat." Clearly the heart folks are concerned with an unhealthy unintended consequence of the ban. All of which underscores the real need for this issue, as well as the menu proposal, to be taken up by the City Council; something that we feel is getting closer to being a real possibility.