Our obesity epidemic is over.
Although the science of “trans-fats” being ultimately responsible for Americans’ untimely deaths and need for double airplane seats is questionable at best, and banning trans-fats has become something of a backbench issue to other more pressing anti-science health concerns – like whether genetically modified organisms are, indeed, ruining our very molecular makeup – the Obama administration took the drastic step of “banning” trans fats through the Food and Drug Administration, giving producers three years to phase out all trans-fat use.
The Obama administration is making good on its pledge to all but ban trans-fat nationwide.
The FDA issued a final decision Tuesday that gives the food industry three years to phase out partially hydrogenated oils, the main source of trans fat, which are still used in a wide variety of products from microwave popcorn to cake frosting.
The government’s goal is to prevent cardiovascular disease and advocates are cheering the move as a historic win for public health. But class-action attorneys are eager to use the ruling — before it takes effect— to file lawsuits against deep-pocketed food companies that have continued to use trans-fat, even as the rest of the industry has masterfully reduced its use of trans-fat by some 85 percent.
The Center for Science in the Public Interest and trial lawyers may really like the trans-fat ban – as class-action lawsuits can now challenge food manufacturers who produce products with trans-fats for making people fat, as a single food ingredient is obviously the cause of America’s obesity problem – but food manufacturers probably won’t. Especially when you consider that many of them moved to using trans-fats after the FDA declared them safer to use than saturated fats.
Saturated fats, if you remember, were the FDA’s 1990s cause du jour, as clearly they were singlehandedly murdering thousands of Americans with their deliciously attractive fatty flavor. Saturated fats are now known to be less caustic than once thought and the replacement the FDA openly encouraged – trans-fats – are the ones slowly killing Americans at mealtime. Only, Americans don’t really eat a lot of trans-fat. They’ve been decreasing their trans-fat consumption for almost a decade.
Which is what brings the problem full circle to public interest groups and trial lawyers, who, unlike Americans, will actually benefit from million dollar class-action lawsuits designed to target companies with fatty products for elimination through bankruptcy. Americans, who have a tough time admitting personal responsibility for their own bad habits, will be all too happy to whack on the people shoving deep-fried Oreos down their gullets.