Trans Fat Ban Illegal, L.A. County Told
Current state law prohibits Los Angeles County from banning artificial trans fats in restaurants or requiring restaurants to disclose nutritional information in menus, according to a report released Friday by the county Department of Public Health, the Los Angeles Times reports. The county Board of Supervisors asked a task force to conduct the report.
The report recommended that the board create a voluntary program to encourage restaurants to eliminate trans fats, perhaps by offering a decal program that certifies restaurants as trans-fat-free. The report also said a ban would face difficulty in low-income neighborhoods, where businesses would be more "resistant to change."
Jonathan Fielding, county director of public health, said a voluntary program would be a step toward an eventual ban because it would raise consumer awareness and pressure businesses.
Supervisor Yvonne Brathwaite Burke, who recommended the report, said supervisors will begin enacting voluntary measures and a public awareness campaign about the health effects of trans fat (Barboza, Los Angeles Times, 1/27).