Louisville, KY Passes Trans Fat Measure
Home of Yum! Brands to go Trans-Fat-Free?
Yesterday the Louisville Metro Council passed a resolution directing its public health department to conduct an education campaign about the dangers of consuming products that contain trans fats, and to consider regulations on the use of trans fat in restaurants. The health department's director told the Louisville Courier-Journal that he believes eliminating trans fat is a logical step. According to the nonprofit Center for Science in the Public Interest, the Council's move is yet another strong signal to the food industry that artificial trans fat—or the trans fat that comes from partially hydrogenated oil—is on its way out.
Louisville is home to Yum! Brands, parent company of KFC, Taco Bell, Pizza Hut, Long John Silver's, and A&W. KFC largely stopped using artificial trans fat for frying (after a CSPI lawsuit), and Taco Bell also sharply reduced its use of the artery-clogging oil. Long John Silver's and A&W on the other hand, still deep fry in partially hydrogenated oil. Two pieces of battered fish and a large order of French fries at Long John Silver's has 14 grams of trans fat—more than one should consume in seven days.
"Yum Brands knows how to get rid of artificial trans fat and it knows that it should," said CSPI executive director Michael F. Jacobson. "The company has no excuse for using this discredited artificial ingredient at two of its chains. I hope they hear the Louisville Metro Council’s message loud and clear."
Louisville Metro Councilman Dan Johnson has spearheaded the Council’s trans fat efforts and the measure to give the health department the authority to regulate. "We have taken the politics out of the discussion and put the public health and safety in the forefront," Johnson said.
Earlier this week officials in Westchester County, NY, voted to phase out the use of artificial trans fat, joining New York City; Nassau County, NY; King County, Wash., which includes Seattle and its suburbs; Montgomery County, Md.; Philadelphia; and several other jurisdictions.
Contact Jeff Cronin (jcronin[at]cspinet.org) or Ariana Stone (astone[at]cspinet.org).