New York City’s Board of Health has backed Mayor Bloomberg’s campaign to eliminate artificial trans fats from eateries, setting an initial deadline of July 1, 2007. Artificial trans fats are thought by health professionals to be a leading cause of heart disease.

New York Times:

The new requirements will mean that food establishments throughout the city, from high-end bistros to neighborhood delis, will be barred from using most frying oils containing artificial trans fats by July 1, 2007, and will have to eliminate the artificial trans fats from all of their foods by July 1, 2008.

The new rules will allow restaurants to serve foods that come in the manufacturer’s original packaging.

The health department’s new limits, which were advocated by Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, have thrust New York City into the forefront of efforts to reduce the consumption of artificial trans fats, the chemically modified ingredients that were once considered a benign alternative to the saturated fats in butter. Doctors and nutritionists now call trans fats the worst of all fats, with a direct link to heart disease.

While the measures have received widespread support from those in the health and medical fields, not everyone was happy.

Dan Fleshler, a spokesman for the National Restaurant Association, said today that the city’s proposals were “an attempt at misguided social engineering by a group of physicians that don’t understand the restaurant industry.”


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