Phat, Dope, and Fresh
Thursday, November 07 2013
Contributed by: dbsmall
I'm torn as I read about the FDA considering banning artificial trans fats.
On the one hand, I think trans fats are the devil. I certainly won't be sad to see them gone. And if this enables me more variety of foods at the grocery story without partially-hydrogenated oils, that'll be great.
On the other hand, I worry about outlawing the sale of items that have a legitimate purpose. After all, what is the determining criterion?
If the criterion is "It's uniformly considered unhealthy by medical professionals", then why are cigarettes and refined sugar and HFCS legal? Cigarettes are taxed heavily and labeled to make clear "these things will kill you". HFCS has no such warnings. Maybe labeling would be sufficient.
Maybe the criterion is "It's unhealthy and being unintentionally given to children, who do not get to choose." The same is true for HFCS. And it's not illegal to sell SPF 4 suntan lotion, which would likely give a false sense of security to parents putting it on their children.
Maybe the criterion is "It has no positive benefit. Cigarettes make people feel good." I would argue that trans fats extend shelf life, and give a nice mouth-feel to baked goods.
I think the argument is some combination of these three things. But I can find counterexamples.
And it concerns me that some things are restricted, and others aren't, because that makes me think that some businesses are being favored over others.
From a regulatory policy standpoint, I don't like this. But I'll be glad to see trans fats go....