Wednesday, May 16, 2007


The Montgomery County Council - Saving Us From Ourselves

Like fingernails scratching down the chalkboard, so goes the Montgomery County Government – its smug, self-congratulatory approach to building its own nanny state legacy is a constant cringe-inducing irritant. Today’s exhibit: Montgomery Bans Trans Fats in Restaurants, Markets -

“The Montgomery County Council unanimously approved a ban on partially hydrogenated oils in restaurants, supermarket bakeries and delis yesterday, becoming the first county in the nation to restrict artery-clogging trans fats.”

Sayeth Council member Duchy Trachtenberg (D-At Large), the bill's chief sponsor:

"The goal is to protect the public health," she said. "People want to know what they are eating."

(I guess she forgot the bit about it also being “for the children.”)

This is yet another example of the liberal mantra “trust us, we know what’s best for you” come to life and Post writer Miranda Spivack just can’t contain her approval for such totalitarian acts:

“The anti-trans fat bill puts Montgomery in the vanguard of a growing national movement…”

“The measure marks the second time in recent memory that Montgomery has taken the lead on a health issue of national significance.”

So why did so many businesses start using such a dangerous subsance in their food products? And how could our governments have allowed this? Ms. Spivack partially answers this:

“Trans fat, which contributes to "bad cholesterol" levels, is made when hydrogen is added to vegetable oil, which helps increase the shelf life and flavor of certain foods.” (Ed Note: increased shelf life = lower food costs = a good thing).

But another big reason trans fats became so popular is that years ago the conventional wisdom was scaring everyone about saturated fats….you know, like that found in butter…which is why margarine became so popular…you know, margarine, as in trans fats-containing margarine.

More from our fawning reporter:

“The measure doesn't eliminate such items as french fries or desserts from restaurant menus but requires that they be made with healthier oils, such as canola or soy.”

But apparently it requires no such thing – it just bans trans fats (From the MC Council website: MC Council Votes to Ban Artificial Trans Fats). As Ms. Spivack later notes:

“Restaurateurs say that it could be difficult for them to find healthy replacements for trans fatty oils and that they might have to use artery-clogging palm and coconut oils or butter.”

Heh, heh…

And what does the FDA say about all this? Well, it got on the scare bandwagon awhile ago with a mandatory trans fats labeling requirement but it still classifies trans fats as “Generally Recognized As Safe”. Further, from the FDA website:

Q: Should trans fat be eliminated from the diet?

A: No. According to experts, eliminating trans fat completely from the diet would require such extraordinary dietary changes (e.g., elimination of foods, such as dairy products and meats that contain trans fatty acids) that eliminating trans fat could cause an inadequate intake of some nutrients and create health risks.”
FDA/CFSAN - Questions and Answers about Trans Fat Nutrition Labeling

Stephen Milloy, purveyor of the usually excellent, has some good points on the general trans fats issue.

Idle thought: How would liberals react if the Bush administration forbade trans fats for Gitmo detainees?

Isn't the question:How would liberals react if the Bush administration fed trans fats to Gitmo detainees?

No doubt it would be declared a violation of the Geneva conventions for speeding up their eventual demise due to heart attacks. :-)
My point - inartfully submitted, I guess - is that the only time liberals seem to get animated about intrusive government is when it concerns those at Gitmo
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