Hey! Remember back in May when we told you that “the Massachusetts legislature will debate a statewide ban” on trans fats “this summer?” Well, that promised time has come. Newton (or Waltham, depending on which paper you ask) Representative Peter J. Koutoujian, Democrat and chair of the House public health committee proposed a statewide ban on the artificially-manufactured oils back in December and now, hearings on the bill have begun.
All this might seem fairly run-of-the-mill, but here’s the twist: the Massachusetts Restaurant Association, which normally comes out swinging against anything that they perceive as a possible detriment to business (see: the smoking ban, meal taxes), is in favor of the bill. Peter G. Christie, the association’s president, remarked that if the legislature says trans fats are bad, “and we have to get rid of them from our restaurants, the question would only be how and when.” An unexpectedly non-obstructionist view from Mr. Christie! But wait! Christie also told the Herald that he wants the legislature to also do something about trans fats in products that can be found in grocery stores. While this is pretty clearly logistically unfeasible, we have to admire Christie’s strategy. He looks great by complying with the bill, but he is also striving to eliminate a possible source of competition with restaurants. Well played, sir. Well played.
If you have a strong point of view one way or the other about banning trans fats in the state of Massachusetts, now would probably be a good time to contact your representative. As always, feel free to tell us what you think.
Trans-fat Ban Gains Eateries’ Assent [Boston Globe]
Massachusetts Restaurant Association [Official Site]
Legislature Looks to Trim Trans Fats [Boston Herald]
House Members of the 185th General Court [State of Massachusetts]