Baltimore Joins Montgomery County in Moving Toward Trans-Fat-Free Future
Statement of CSPI Health Policy Deputy Director Julie Greenstein
March 18, 2008
Last night, Baltimore took a major step toward becoming the second major Maryland jurisdiction to get rid of artificial trans fat. The city council unanimously passed a bill phasing out partially hydrogenated oils—the main source of trans fat, which increases the risk of heart disease and heart attacks. The measure gives restaurants 18 months to make the switch. We urge Mayor Sheila Dixon to sign it into law as soon as possible.
Montgomery County passed a similar measure in May. New York City, Philadelphia, Boston, and King County, Washington, which includes Seattle, have passed similar legislation in the past two years, as have other jurisdictions.
With no leadership from the Food and Drug Administration on this issue, cities have had to take this important public health issue into their own hands, and we hope other cities will follow suit. Cities like Baltimore are recognizing that the costs to restaurants are so modest and temporary, and the benefits to the public are so obvious and permanent.