L.A. Launches Voluntary Anti Trans Fat Program

Los Angeles County has launched a voluntary program to encourage restaurants to stop using trans fats. Participating restaurants will be able to display a decal in their windows declaring their trans fat-free status.

Restaurants must pay $204 to apply for the program. Health inspectors will then make unannounced visits to the restaurants to make sure they are in compliance. To be accepted the establishments must not use any hydrogenated oils, shortening, or margarine.

Participating restaurants will also be listed on lapublichealth.org.

This voluntary program strikes me as much better than a citywide ban on trans fats. Banning things only leads to a backlash. Doing it this way lets consumers decide which restaurants to frequent based on whether they use trans fats and restaurants have a good incentive to make the change.

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