Thursday, April 9, 2009

Texas Legislature Considers Trans Fat Ban

There is nothing particularly appetizing about the phrase "trans fats." I doubt that the sound of those words makes your mouth water and you probably never say to your husband or wife, "Hey, Honey, let's have some trans fat tonight for dinner!" However, when included as an ingredient in your favorite dessert or deep-fried dinner, you may not worry about this specific nutritional factor and instead just focus on the taste. The problem is, though, that trans fats have been shown to raise the bad kind of cholesterol and therefore lead to a greater chance of coronary heart disease. The question being asked now is, does the government have a role to play in protecting you from this dangerous product? Some of our legislators in Texas believe so.

Senate Bill 204 and House Bill 1523 would ban the use of trans fats in Texas restaurants by September 1, 2010. Restaurants with fewer than fifteen locations and bakeries would be given an extra year to comply. The motivation behind this bill is the alarming obesity rate that is already affecting Texas. Currently, 28.8% of the adults in our state are considered obese, and that number could rise to an astonishing 42.6% by the year 2040. Those in favor of the bill believe that any steps that can be taken to curb this growing health epidemic should be taken.

Texas would be following in the footsteps of California and large cities such as New York, Boston, and Philadelphia if it chooses to enact the ban.
However, opponents believe it should be the individual, not the government, who makes the decisions concerning food intake. As Rep. Jodie Laubenberg (R-Parker) said, "At what point do we stop? Why don't we just set up a government feeding center and control it all?"

The business litigation attorneys and business law lawyers at Bertolino LLP are always following any legal changes that may affect your business practices. Please contact us today if you have any questions about how this possible trans fat ban, or any other acts in Austin, will affect your livelihood. We have lawyers in Austin, Houston, or San Antonio who are ready to assist you today.

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