Since the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene outrageously took it upon itself to regulate trans fat out of the Big Apple’s restaurants, the idea has caught on with a host of other lawmakers and political appointees who apparently have nothing better to do. While it’s understandable that the Second City might follow the First City, it now looks like the Third (that is, Los Angeles), Twenty-Second, Twenty-Fourth, Twenty-Fifth, Twenty-Seventh, Thirty-Ninth, and Two Hundred Fifty-Fourth Cities are all thinking about following suit.
Officials at Washington State’s Board of Health, and Public Health-Seattle & King County started discussing statewide trans fat restrictions this week, calling New York’s decision a “step in the right direction.”
New Jersey’s Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens Committee is currently considering a bill banning trans fat that was introduced by State Senator Ellen Karcher in mid-October.
On December 11, Cleveland’s City Council unanimously passed a resolution in support of a local ban. Councilman Kevin Conwell, who sponsored the resolution, has vowed to push for a law. Conwell provided this bit of obligatory panic-inducing hyperbole to his city’s Plain Dealer: “[T]rans fat is a silent poison. It’s killing people in the city of Cleveland.“
Louisville councilman Dan Johnson introduced an ordinance on Monday that is modeled on New York’s.
The Los Angeles Board of Supervisors has commissioned the city’s Department of Public Health (DPH) to write a report on potential trans fat regulations. The DPH expects to publicly present its report by the end of January.
Washington, DC Health Department spokeswoman Leila Abrar told The Washington Times in early October that “New York’s idea and policy is sound.“
The executive director of the Boston Public Health Commission, John Auerbach, provided this ban-friendly talking point to the Boston Herald on December 6: “We know that trans fat consumption leads to serious health problems, and we believe that it’s government’s role … to do what we can to encourage people to consume healthy food … I estimate that by February we will make a decision.” Across the Charles River, meanwhile, the city of Cambridge is looking into something very similar.
Chicago’s Alderman Edward Burke has called trans fat “cruelty to human beings” and has been crusading to “cleanse” his city since June.
Uncertain that the original trans fat ban was insulting enough, one New York City Councilman is introducing legislation that “will legally strengthen what the [Board of Health] did.” State assemblyman Felix Ortiz, meanwhile, is revving up for a statewide ban on the fat.
Even the Granite State has not remained silent, with a trans fat ban on the docket as bill# H-0846 that would excise the fat from all sorts of eateries in New Hampshire.