New York City: Artificial Trans Fats Banned From City


NEW YORK (AP) - The Board of Health voted Tuesday to make New York the first city in the nation to ban artery-clogging artificial trans fats at restaurants - from the corner pizzeria to high-end bakeries.

The board, which passed the ban by a unanimous vote, did give restaurants a slight break by relaxing what had been considered a tight deadline for compliance. Restaurants will be barred from using most frying oils containing artificial trans fats by July, and will have to eliminate the artificial trans fats from all of its foods by July 2008.

Health Commissioner Thomas Frieden said recently that officials seriously weighed complaints from the restaurant industry, which argued that it was unrealistic to give them six months to replace cooking oils and shortening and 18 months to phase out the ingredients altogether.

Trans fats are believed to be harmful because they contribute to heart disease by raising bad cholesterol and lowering good cholesterol at the same time. Some experts say that makes trans fats worse than saturated fat.