Washington, D.C. – Ah, freedom. You choose to smoke, drink, eat what you want, marry who you choose to, practice your religion (or not), be a Democrat or Republican (or Tea Party pooper).
Ah, capitalism. You are lured into changing your smart phones every six months, get hooked on pay-per-view TV, sold clothing that are meant for models half your waist size, supersize your combo meal.
Then there’s big brother, reading your emails, tracking your whereabouts, warning against vitamin supplements but licensing drugs with potential fatal side effects, taxing your every purchase and what meager income you earn.
Now, the Food and Drug Administration is waging the biggest war since we first learned to say “war on terror.” The new war is against trans fat — not against transgender people or fat people — but the artery-clogging substance that FDA says is the major cause of heart attacks.
The Food and Drug Administration on Thursday proposed measures that would all but eliminate artificial trans fats from the U.S. food supply. Under the proposal, the agency would declare that partially hydrogenated oils, the source of trans fats, were no longer “generally recognized as safe,” a legal category that permits the use of salt and caffeine, for example.
That means companies would have to prove scientifically that partially hydrogenated oils are safe to eat, a very high hurdle given that scientific literature overwhelmingly shows the contrary. The Institute of Medicine has concluded that there is no safe level for consumption of artificial trans fats.
A coalition of fast food restaurants, backed by a grassroots organization calling itself “Leave My Food Plate Alone,” immediately lambasted the FDA proposal, saying that it is really a “war to promote hunger.”
A quick scan of various commercially-available food groups and items by The Adobo Chronicles came up with this partial list containing trans fats:
Cookies, crackers, cakes, muffins, pie crusts, pizza dough, hamburger buns, stick margarine, vegetable shortening, pre-mixed cake mixes, pancake mixes, chocolate drink mixes, fried foods, donuts, French fries, chicken nuggets, hard taco shells, chips, candy, packaged or microwave popcorn , frozen dinners, frozen chicken and noodles, refrigerated crescent rolls, Oreo cookies, Wheat Thins, Triscuits, Fig Newtons, Nilla Wafers, cinnamon rolls, apple pie, hotcakes, pancakes, quarter pounder with cheese. The list goes on…
Will the public soon see lots of empty supermarket shelves and freezers? Will some companies actually go out of business? Stay tuned.