Consider the Source

Last week’s news that the New York City Health Department wants to ban trans fats in restaurants atrracted lots of support.

But its detractors are legion, and the food-industry lobbying group Center for Consumer Freedom is fighting back. The organization (which is the polar opposite of the nutrition watchdog organization Center for Science in the Public Interest) is this week airing a television ad that is an over-the-top attempt to win sympathy for its side (and, presumably, the organization’s funders, a coalition of food, fast food, and tobacco corporations). In the ad, a little boy gets a delicious-looking ice cream cone literally ripped from his hands by the food police. He cries.

Of course, since the food industry has developed many substitutes for trans fats (although they might not be as convenient or cheap), no one will actually be ripping food from anyone’s hands. Even french fries can be produced using healthier fats than partially hydrogenated soybean oil. In the end, if the trans fat ban goes through, it probably won’t be little kids who are crying, but executives of fast food corporations.