“Government doesn’t always know best, nor do its friends in “public health.” The story has often been told of how dietary reformers touted trans fats from the 1950s onward as a safer alternative to animal fats and butter…

…Public health activists and various levels of government hectored consumers and restaurants to embrace the new substitutes. We now know this was a bad idea: trans fats appear worse for cardiovascular health than what they replaced.”, Walter Olson of the Cato Institute, The Wall Street Journal

Opinion

Notable & Quotable

Notable & Quotable: Walter Olson

The FDA’s ban on trans fat is just the beginning.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry leaves the stage after speaking to the press following Iranian nuclear talks at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne in April.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry leaves the stage after speaking to the press following Iranian nuclear talks at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne in April. Photo: Reuters

Legal scholar Walter Olson, writing online for the Cato Institute about the FDA’s ban on trans fats, June 16:

While many products have been reformulated to omit trans fats, their versatile qualities still give them an edge in such specialty applications as frozen pizza crusts, microwave popcorn, and the sprinkles used atop cupcakes and ice cream. Food companies tried to negotiate to keep some of these uses available, especially in small quantities, but apparently mostly failed.

Government doesn’t always know best, nor do its friends in “public health.” The story has often been told of how dietary reformers touted trans fats from the 1950s onward as a safer alternative to animal fats and butter. Public health activists and various levels of government hectored consumers and restaurants to embrace the new substitutes. We now know this was a bad idea: trans fats appear worse for cardiovascular health than what they replaced. And the ingredients that will replace minor uses of trans fats—tropical palm oil is one—have problems of their own.

Even if you never plan to consume a smidgen of trans fat ever again, note well: many public health advocates are itching for the FDA to limit allowable amounts of salt, sugar, caffeine, and so forth in food products. Many see this as their big pilot project and test case.

Posted on June 17, 2015, in Postings. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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