Bill To Ban Trans Fats Passes First Test in Assembly Committee
The Assembly Health Committee on Tuesday approved legislation (AB 97) by Assembly member Tony Mendoza (D-Artesia) that would ban the use of trans fats in oils, margarine and shortening at "food facilities," including restaurants, cafeterias and other businesses, the AP/Sacramento Bee reports (Lawrence, AP/Sacramento Bee, 3/6).
The measure would not apply to packaged food sold either in grocery stores or restaurants. If approved, California would be the first state in the nation to ban the use of trans fats (Herdt, Ventura County Star, 3/7).
Violators could pay a fine ranging from $25 to $1,000.
Mendoza said trans fats are "the leading cause of heart disease and diabetes." He added, "Trans fats have absolutely no nutritional value."
The California Restaurant Association and the Grocery Manufacturers and Food Products Association are among the bill's opponents.
The bill now goes to the Appropriations Committee, whose approval of the bill could send it to the full Assembly (AP/Sacramento Bee, 3/6). If passed, the ban would take effect July 1, 2008 (Ventura County Star, 3/7).