The FDA's Ill-Conceived Proposal to Ban Trans Fats

We may soon have to say goodbye to many doughnuts, crackers, frozen pizza, coffee creamer and other goodies—whether or not we agree.

On Thursday the FDA made the surprise announcement that it would move to ban artificial trans fats, which are found in foods containing partially hydrogenated vegetable oils. The ban would not apply to naturally occurring trans fats, such as those found in meat and dairy products. Adoption of the proposal, which is open to public comment until Jan. 7, 2014, would mean that food producers who want to use partially hydrogenated oils would first have to prove to the FDA the safety of the ingredient.

Considering that the FDA’s announcement this week declared preemptively “that there is no safe level of consumption of artificial trans fat,” the burden of proof for future trans fat use would appear to be quite high.

What does trans fat research say?

Studies on artificial trans fats have found generally that they raise the amount of bad cholesterol (LDL) and lower the amount of good cholesterol (HDL) in the blood. (More here on HDL and LDL generally.)

But a recent meta analysis, Effect of Animal and Industrial Trans Fatty Acids on HDL and LDL Cholesterol Levels in Humans—A Quantitative Review, published in the open-access, peer-reviewed journal PLOS ONE in 2010, concludes that those negative effects may also be shared by natural trans fats. The study looked at the results from twenty-nine human studies in which subjects were fed artificial trans fats and six studies in which subjects were fed natural trans fats derived from milk fat. It found the impact of artificial and natural trans fats on HDL and LDL levels to be roughly equivalent.

Like the 2010 PLOS ONE study, a 2005 book by the Institute of Medicine that appears to form much of the basis for the FDA’s action (the agency went so far as to link to it in yesterday’s FDA press release) appears to make no distinction between artificial and natural trans fats.

What’s more, the IOM appears torn over trans fats. On the one hand, it refers to them as “not essential” and says they “provide no known health benefit.” The FDA cites these points, of course. But the IOM also concludes in the same paragraph “trans fatty acids are unavoidable in ordinary, nonvegan diets.”

How much trans fats do we eat?

Thanks to the fact many food producers have responded to consumer demand and removed trans fats from their foods in recent years, the FDA’s press release noted that “trans fat intake among American consumers has declined from 4.6 grams per day in 2003 to about 1 gram per day in 2012.”

The American Heart Association, meanwhile, suggests Americans consume “less than 2 grams of trans fats a day.” So if the FDA and AHA are correct, then current consumption levels—prior to and without any ban—are well within safe levels. Still, that didn’t stop the AHA from endorsing the FDA’s suggested ban.

And what about natural trans fats? According to the USDA, a pound of ground beef contains more than 8g of trans fat.

What is the FDA doing?

The FDA has required food labels to list trans fat content since 2006. As I’ve written before, though, where a warning will suffice, a ban is inappropriate. Here, it’s also exceptional.

Attorney Mark Itzkoff told Politico that the FDA’s move against trans fats was “virtually unprecedented.”

Virtually, indeed.

Recall that the FDA forced Four Loko and other beers containing caffeine from the market in 2010, though the agency’s procedural machinations were slightly different with Four Loko than they are with trans fats.

More recently, as I wrote about here, the FDA has been rattling its saber in the direction of caffeine, which could face a similar fate if the agency’s move against trans fats is successful.

What would be the impact on food?

The proposed ban has already spurred its share of culinary requiems. Time has written obituaries for doughnuts, crackers, frozen pizza, coffee creamer, ready-made doughs, canned frosting, and some popcorn. Fox News, meanwhile, is mourning microwave popcorn, cookies, crackers, refrigerated dough, pie crust, margarine, and coffee creamer. Politico reported the ban could make foods taste worse and could also “could increase the saturated fat content of foods,” since something will have to replace trans fats in the foods that presently contain them, and that something is simply different saturated fats.

Do trans fat bans work?

New York City banned trans fats in 2006. The ban was phased in gradually over two years. At least one study has shown what one might expect—that the city’s trans fat ban caused New Yorkers to consume less trans fats. So trans fat bans work insofar as they ban some trans fats. But are New Yorkers healthier as a result? That’s a more complicated question than it might first appear.

“Further reduction in the amount of trans fat in the American diet could prevent an additional 20,000 heart attacks and 7,000 deaths from heart disease each year,” claimed the FDA as it announced its proposed ban.

Sure enough, according to my analysis of CDC data, New York City’s rate of mortality from heart disease fell by 7.3% from 2006 to 2010.

Case closed? Not quite.

According to my analysis of CDC data, the national rate of mortality from heart disease fell by 9.3% during that same period. Obviously, the national decline—the rate of which was 21.5% higher nationwide than that found in New York City—can’t be attributed to a national trans fat ban that has yet to take place.

What’s more, consider that New York City also banned smoking in bars and restaurants in 2003. Smoking is a leading cause of heart disease and related death. New York City’s overall smoking rate has fallen from 21.5% in 2002 to 14.8% percent in 2011 and to 14% today.

Though smoking rates have fallen nationally over the same period, from 20.9% in 2005 to 18.0% in 2012, according to CDC data, the smoking rate across the country is still higher than it is in New York City. And yet the national rate for deaths caused by heart disease fell by a greater percentage nationwide than it did in New York City from 2006-2010.

Do trans fat bans save lives? The burden of proof is on the FDA.

What's next?

The FDA will move to ban trans fats in a matter of months, after reviewing public comments on its proposal. It’s clear that there are holes in the FDA’s argument—many of which pertain to what appears to be the similar impact of artificial and naturally occurring trans fats. Perhaps opponents of meat consumption, including animal rights groups, might use this information to mount a legal challenge to prohibit the sale of beef and other foods that naturally contains trans fats. That idea may seem farfetched, but none too long ago so might have the FDA’s Four Loko ban, its crackdown on caffeine, and the frontal assault it launched this week on artificial trans fats.

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  • PS in CT||

    I wonder if ol' Gina McCarthy hops out of bed in the morning and thinks "It's a beautiful day to ban something."

  • JidaKida||

    Gotta love the bought and paid for US Government.

    www.WorldPrivacy.tk

  • Cyto||

    and says they “provide no known health benefit.”

    Well, other than the fact that the body breaks them down and uses the energy.... you know, for food. It is not like we are talking about red die number 5.

    This little fact, plus the "no safe level" comment which is an obvious and completely unsupportable lie reveals their entire argument as a religious jihad against a perceived enemy of the faith. These people are in the same category as the "zero tolerance" school administrators and their G.I. Joe and Pop-Tart gun bans. We should never allow this sort of dogmatic and irrational person to have any real authority in our society.

  • Robert||

    Unfortunately it's not a lie. A "safe level" would be that below which it's known not to have adverse effects of the kind that are believed to occur at higher levels. It's difficult enough establishing safe levels for food additives for which no adverse effects are anticipated; that requires animal tests looking for a battery of commonly occurring types of toxicity for, uh, everything, and then clinical trials looking for the same—usually acute effects. Once something is suspected of causing chronic toxicity, however, it would appear to require years of prospective studies in a large number of human subjects on controlled diets, some of which would have to include 0 of the substance being tested—that would mean a vegan diet modified by the inclusion of varying amounts of trans fat. The safe level would be the highest level at which illnesses are as low as or lower than for 0 consumption.

    I don't see any other way to do it. You certainly couldn't establish a safe level by retrospective studies. I don't foresee anybody undertaking studies of trans fat as a new food additive and hoping to reintroduce it years later, the way it was done with silicone breast implants.

  • Ted S.||

    It's the fucking Precautionary Principle.

    We need to use the Precautionary Principle for government regulations.

  • Fluffy||

    That would not be necessary.

    Since the reason trans fats are (supposedly) unhealthy is that they raise "bad" cholesterol levels, all you would have to do to prove they are safe to consume is measure whether there are significant populations who consume trans fats but don't have elevated "bad" cholesterol levels.

  • Robert||

    Significant popul'ns, as in retrospectively? That won't fly, because of confounding factors. However, if blood lipid changes are the only reason for suspicion, then the length of prospective trials could be shortened.

  • prolefeed||

    all you would have to do to prove they are safe to consume

    All you would really need to do is show that telling people what they can eat is not covered in Article 1, Section 8, so all the government employees pushing this should be fired for violating our constitutional rights.

    Shorter -- none of their FN business what people choose to shove in their pie holes, including pie.

  • Jquip||

    True enough, and a double down on the Estaablishment of Religion. Enforced dietary restrictions have always been a religious affair.

  • Live Free or Diet||

    Since the reason trans fats are (supposedly) unhealthy is that they raise "bad" cholesterol levels,

    That's not quite true. The evidence against artificial trans fats for human consumption is from relatively weak observational studies. I suspect many of the associations are actually from increased sugar and soy, and the removal of natural animal fats from the products that contain TFA. Also, most of these oils are processed with hexane, which is nasty stuff. That said, TFA are associated with all sorts of interesting inflammatory problems including cognitive decline, various cancers and liver fibrosis.
    But that doesn't mean I want the government up in the middle of it, especially as the market is clearly already taking care of it, and it's something the government got wrong to begin with.

  • Jan S.||

    EXACTLY.

    Industrial seed oils are bad news, and one of the reasons they became so popular and pervasive is because everyone became (needlessly) paranoid about saturated fats - because the government decided to tell us what to eat. (For the record, naturally occurring trans fats are NOT the same as manufactured trans fats.)

    So, I avoid them, but that doesn't mean I want or need the government to ban/regulate them. I'm quite capable of not deciding not to consume them on my own.

  • Ted S.||

    Take the Saturday Pledge!

    Pledge not to respond to any trolls who try to turn the Saturday threads into their own person playground for talking about abortion, gay marriage, circumcision, Christian persecution, or deep-dish pizza!

  • Scarecrow Repair||

  • Bam!||

  • AlmightyJB||

    Her only good quality was the tits her lecher husband bought for her. Those will get her through her good porn years. Hopefully she invests wisely. He'll just go and buy another set of tits. Seems like a win-win.

  • prolefeed||

    Fake tits are not a good quality, they are fucking gross.

    That being said, she is a scary looking chick.

  • Scarecrow Repair||

    It looks like a 60 year old after the last face lift she'll ever get, and Tanny Baker levels of makeup trowled on.

  • playa manhattan||

    What's the point of marrying a 16 year old if she looks 45? Seems like a lot of trouble to go to...

  • John C. Randolph||

    Holy crap! That broad's only 19? With all that surgery, she looks like a 50 year-old Las Vegas cougar.

    -jcr

  • Francisco d Anconia||

    At what point do you become a troll for posting that comment every Saturday, and am I currently breaking my pledge for posting this?

  • Ted S.||

    Am I more of a troll than the people who remind us of the "Troll-Free Thursday"? That's where I got the idea.

    Well, that, and seeing one more Saturday post derailed by an abortion thread.

  • playa manhattan||

    I demand that you explain why you were up so early on a Saturday.

  • ||

    deep-dish pizza!

    You are a monster

  • Otisjay||

    hmmmmm Pizza

  • Ted S.||

    I'll repeat a comment I made last night: 30 years ago, when the movement to ban smoking on certain types of private property was just gaining steam, there were people who stated that the next thing you know, the banners are going to tell us what we can and can't eat. The "reasonable" banners said that the Cassandras were crazy.

    30 years on, look who turned out to be right.

  • Not an Economist||

    The "reasonables"?

  • toolkien||

    I had the same experience. I'm sure those people are as fully on board with this even though they thought it was crazy back then. It is due to the endless softening that occurs through the media. Demonize oreos long enough and when the government intervention comes down the pike it's perfectly sane and logical. These people are simply unaware that they are useful idiots and can't detect the conditioning that makes them such. And when the mandatory calisthenics come down the pike in twenty years, they'll have fully forgotten what crazy talk such a concept is now. Can't wait for the first article promoting Strength Through Joy without a whiff of irony.

  • Sevo||

    "30 years on, look who turned out to be right."

    Remember the Civil Rights Act? 'There will be no quotas'?
    Medicare will cost how much in 20 years?
    "You can keep your insurance!"
    Sorry, there's not enough time in a day...

  • AlmightyJB||

    30 years from now we'll find out trans fats are the key to good health.

  • PapayaSF||

    +Sleeper

  • PapayaSF||

    "The income tax will only apply to the very rich. The average working man will never have to pay it."

  • Boisfeuras||

    Or for the limeys: "We only need the income tax until we defeat Napoleon."

  • CatoTheElder||

    Wait until ObamaCare is in effect for a few years. Every human activity has some effect on health. Any activity that may be harmful to an individual's health is then no longer an individual decision, but a decision with social consequences. Thus, the state has an interest in all human activity. To be all fair and balanced, though, at least Julia will get free contraceptives and mammograms. On the other hand, they may be mandatory if the state determines that there is some compelling social interest. (No way, that's just crazy Cassandra talk.)

  • PapayaSF||

    I am actually starting to believe the whole thing might be repealed by then. My sense is that there's a tsunami coming. Loyal Democrat voters are outraged and writing their Congresscritters. I work with one. Not that his letter to Nancy Pelosi will do any good, but it's a sign.

  • LarryA||

    Wait until Julia finds out that Congress will end up deciding what kind of free contraceptives she "needs" based on "Essential Health Benefits" instead of what she mistakenly thinks she prefers.

  • Francisco d Anconia||

    30 years on, look who turned out to be right.

    Often, the slippery slope isn't a fallacy.

  • playa manhattan||

    It's a road map these days.

  • prolefeed||

    Often, the slippery slope turns out to be an unduly optimistic view of the future.

  • Snark Plissken||

    Perhaps opponents of meat consumption, including animal rights groups, might use this information to mount a legal challenge to prohibit the sale of beef and other foods that naturally contains trans fats.

    Interestingly, the main naturally occurring trans fat in cows, vaccenic acid, occurs in greater quantities in pastured cows than grain fed cows. Yet pastured beef and milk is healthier than the grain fed variety.

  • Francisco d Anconia||

    Who cares? Grain fed tastes better.

  • Snark Plissken||

    When you put it on deep dish pizza you prole. Oh shit, do I have to pay the Troll Toll now?

  • prolefeed||

    You need to go sit quietly in a corner in time out and reflect on your error in using the word "prole" pejoratively.

  • ||

    Only if you want to get into this boy's hole. I mean soul! This boy's soul!

  • Ted S.||

    If I had a penny for all the comments about the Saturday Pledge subjects, I'd be a wealthy man. :-)

  • HellsBells||

    The pasture fed beef also contains high levels of linoleic acid which breaks down the trans fats and saturated fats. It's the same with butter from grass fed cows. It makes it all a whole lot healthier for you.

  • Lord Humungus||

    public comment

    which will, of course, be dutifully ignored. Thank goodness we have regulatory bodies with no congressional oversight.

  • Francisco d Anconia||

    Thank goodness we have regulatory bodies with no congressional oversight.

  • Scarecrow Repair||

    Depressing. Slashdot has a poll on what should be done about the FDA ban, and 1/3 think the FDA action is appropriate. I thought a geek-friendly site would have a bit more anti-big brother attitude.

  • Ken Shultz||

    It goes back to debates about intelligent design and beyond, but I think climate change denial has especially affected a lot tech people--so that anything that seems to be defying the scientific consensus is basically thought of the same way as truthers and birthers.

    You want to eat trans-fats? Why do you hate science?

    It used to be that utilitarians hard a hard time accounting for qualitative considerations; nowadays, I'm starting to wonder if some of them can even conceptualize conflicting qualitative considerations, at all.

    Talking about how people should be free to make qualitative choices for themselves about what they eat and the resulting tradeoffs just doesn't seem to compute with them. And it's compelling, to those who imagine themselves more intelligent than the average non-techie bear, to think they should be making such qualitative choices for relatively ignorant, average people.

  • Scarecrow Repair||

    I'm certain you're right; I work at a tech company and a surprising number of them have the patronizing attitude of the self-selected elite, whether in tech matters, social matters, product selection, or anything. Just like entertainers who think their local excellence extends outside their field.

    But it's still depressing for a web site which is real big on dissing the NSA snooping and militarized police and other Big Brother traits.

    I sometimes get in a funk and wonder what I am missing to not see the difference among Big Brother traits. My worst nightmare is some day not coming out of the funk :-)

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    Yes, denying that the climate hasn't changed in over a decade is a vexing problem. Now banning GMO's on the other hand...

  • Ken Shultz||

    I didn't say that's the way it should be or that they're right about that.

    I'm saying that's what a lot of them think, and that's the way it is.

  • prolefeed||

    Talking about how people should be free to make qualitative choices for themselves about what they eat and the resulting tradeoffs just doesn't seem to compute with them. And it's compelling, to those who imagine themselves more intelligent than the average non-techie bear, to think they should be making such qualitative choices for relatively ignorant, average people.

    It's almost like they don't get the economic concept that value is inextricably subjective, and that an outside observer can't make a good judgment call of someone else's subjective judgment.

    The difference between a modern liberal and a libertarian is taking (and understanding and applying) an Econ 101 course.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Every time one of these oil recommendations or bans comes into effect, it always seem to mean that even more restaurants and food companies will be switching to soybean oil. My understanding is that non-hydrogenated soybean oil doesn't have any trans fats in it, damn it, and it's cheap as hell.

    ...which sucks since I'm allergic to soy. A lot of people who are allergic to peanuts, like me, are also allergic to soy--they're both legumes. I understand that just under half the people out there who are allergic to peanuts also react to soy.

    Then, I read stories here at Hit & Run about how some schools are banning all peanuts from campus to protect kids with allergies, on the one hand; meanwhile, various government entities seem to be objectively promoting the use of soybean oil--which will trigger allergic reactions in a lot of kids with peanut allergies.

  • toolkien||

    I was going to point out just this sort of thing - the unintended consequences of every government intervention. SOMETHING is going to replace what is banned, and what if it is worse? Or perhaps better for some but worse for others. And in the end, the greatest issue is over dosing on calories and getting little to no exercise. It is irrelevant to ban anything when the biggest problem is behavior. Of course, behind the scenes it most likely the soybean lobby is behind all this to begin with so consequences and behavior etc is what is irrelevant.

  • Ken Shultz||

    "Of course, behind the scenes it most likely the soybean lobby is behind all this to begin with so consequences and behavior etc is what is irrelevant."

    I would bet trans fat free dollars to doughnuts you're right about that.

    Although, just like with a lot of other things the Obama Administration does, they don't seem to have checked with their own constituencies before announcing this particular decision.

    http://www.hoosieragtoday.com/.....trans-fat/

    ...which shouldn't be surprising. The Obama Administration didn't check with Catholics in their own constituency before announcing the ObamaCare rule on birth control. The Obama Administration didn't check with how ObamaCare was going to affect various unions, either--even the Teamsters are denouncing it.

    An excellent argument against whatever the Obama Administration wants to do is that they don't seem to understand what's in their own best interests half the time. Why should anybody trust them to know what's in our best interests as a nation?

  • prolefeed||

    Obama got reelected. He seems to have a great grasp of what is in his personal interests.

    He might end up fubaring his Democratic colleagues, but to a sociopath like Obama, who cares what happens to material objects like cars or doors or people so long as they get what they want?

  • Ken Shultz||

    "Obama got reelected. He seems to have a great grasp of what is in his personal interests."

    But it certainly wasn't because he pissed off the Teamsters or Catholics; ticking them off didn't increase his reelection changes any.

    What a stupid thing to do ahead of an election!

  • Galane||

    I can't understand how so many Catholics and Jews are such staunch Democrats when the Party is so completely opposed to so much of what they hold dearest in their hearts and minds.

    Yet ask a Catholic who their fave President of all time is and most will answer with John Fitzgerald Kennedy. Nevermind he was a drug addict and had a 16 year old mistress and his "solution" to unemployment was drafting people who had jobs into the military.

  • CatoTheElder||

    But only 0.5% of people are allergic to peanuts and soy.

    If the "just 5% who are individually insured" don't really count when it comes to health insurance policy, then your concerns are really irrelevant.

    America needs a single, comprehensive dietary policy like it needs a single health care plan. When it comes to the health of our children, we must put aside our individual concerns and our culinary and aesthetic sensibilities. In setting this policy, the needs of many outweigh the needs of the few.

    /sarc

  • Francisco d Anconia||

    I wonder if we'll be laughing at that in 30 years?

  • prolefeed||

    I wonder if we'll be laughing at that in 30 years?

    Only if we're out of view of the telescreens monitoring us:

    "For some reason the telescreen in the living room was in an unusual position. Instead of being placed, as was normal, in the end wall, where it could command the whole room, it was in the longer wall, opposite the window. To one side of it there was a shallow alcove in which Winston was now sitting and which, when the flats were built, had probably been intended to hold bookshelves. By sitting in the alcove, and keeping well back, Winston was able to remain outside the range of the telescreen, so far as sight went. He could be heard, of course, but so long as he stayed in his present position he could not be seen."

  • Ted S.||

    If rounding up the children and putting them in concentration camps where only responsible adults can interact with them saves the life of even one child, don't we have an obligation to try it?

  • ||

    Counterpoint: if we put all the children in one place, Warty won't have to work as hard to get to them and he'll get fat, and we all know how unhealthy being fat is. If keeping children out of concentration camps saves just one Warty, don't we have an obligation to try?

  • HellsBells||

    If I'm not mistaken, isn't soybean supposed to be responsible for artificially raising phyto-estrogen levels in the bloodstream and causing inflammation and a horde of other issues? Or was that last year's panic?

  • HellsBells||

    How the hell did this end up way down here??? Supposed to be further up, sorry.

  • creech||

    Only women who are pregnant have a right to determine what is allowed in their bodies. Everyone else not in that condition are second class citizens.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Yeah, anybody that supports something like this has no standing to call themselves "pro-choice".

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    Steering too close to the forbidden topics...5 yard penalty.

  • ||

    I had lunch with a progressive and a Fox News conservative yesterday and the anti-GMO thing came up. They were both enthusiastic about GMO labeling and both used the language of choice in why GMO foods should be labeled. The conservative bitterly cracked something about "my body my choice only applies to some things I guess"

    *glances around furtively for Ted*

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    Wrong. Men are allowed to put prnises in each other's bodies as well

  • ||

    We have to get permission first though :(

  • playa manhattan||

    Why the frowny face?

  • ||

    Uh...humorous effect? Yes. That.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    Take the Saturday pledge - don't mention the persecution of Christians. But Sikhs are OK:

    "GENEVA (Switzerland) – More than 10 000 Sikhs from many parts of Europe gathered here to protest in front of UN Office in Geneva to protest over the 1984’s Genocide of the Sikhs by the Indian government.. The protestors from Europe, Canada and United States came to Switzerland to mark the 29th year of 1984 attacks on Sikhs in India. The gathering before UN highlighted the denial of justice to the victims of November 1984 and exposed the impunity to those who perpetrated violence against Sikhs.

    "...The Indian Government has acknowledged the killing of more than 3000 Sikhs during November 1984. The Government claims that November 1984 violence against Sikhs was “anti Sikh riots” that erupted as a result of PM Gandhi’s assassination.

    "Human Rights Watch (HRW) in its 2009 report “India: Prosecute Those Responsible for 1984 Massacre of Sikhs”, noted that:

    "“An estimated 3,000 Sikhs were killed in 1984, in mob attacks with the complicity of senior members of Gandhi’s then-ruling Congress party. Although there is evidence that at least some of the attacks were orchestrated by senior political figures, none have yet been convicted for the 1984 killings”.

    http://dailymailnews.com/sikhs.....-genocide/

  • AlmightyJB||

    WDATPDIM? /Hemlata Clinton

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    "The Religious Fight To Legalize Marijuana

    "...As Mint Press News previously reported, the Minnesota Court of Appeals ruled last month that a teenager who identifies himself as a practicing Rastafarian should not have been found guilty of possessing drug paraphernalia by a lower court, especially since the pipe is in no way detrimental to the public’s safety. By ruling the way they did, the court decided religious use of marijuana is a valid defense for a marijuana criminal charge....

    "Carl Olsen is one of the most well-known members of the Rastafari faith in the U.S. and has challenged the courts to legally recognize religious use of marijuana since the 1970s. Unfortunately, says Olsen, “All my cases were decided against me.” Despite having “no actual proof of harm or evidence” that Olsen had injured anyone by using marijuana, Olsen says that possessing marijuana was enough to make him a criminal — and bad person — in the eyes of the law and the general public...

    "Ras J. argued one of the main reason’s the government doesn’t want people to have access to marijuana is “not because a person’s brain cells are gonna die or anything else in their propaganda machine,” but it’s because people are not going to take the government’s “crap” anymore, and that is the big problem."

    http://www.mintpressnews.com/t.....na/170908/

  • Kid Xenocles||

    In principle I oppose religious exemptions to laws. If something is important enough to be made law, it's important enough to be applied against everyone. (While there are several ways to achieve this, note my preferred option is to minimize the number of things deemed important enough to be law.)

  • Irish||

    ^^ This. Anything that there actually should be a law against (rape, murder, fraud, theft) should be equally applied to religion. Any law that a religion could be given an exemption from shouldn't be a law in the first place.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    But so long as there are bad laws, shouldn't religious resisters to those laws get some support?

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    Especially since RFRA litigation allows the merits of the law to be discussed in court, to the extent of seeing if it serves a compelling govt interest, etc.

  • Kid Xenocles||

    Insofar as they oppose the law, yes. Insofar as they want special treatment, no.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    I doubt the Rastas want the MJ laws to even exist - it's not as if they want non-Rastas to go to jail, AFAIK.

    See the "Ras. J" quote above.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    And if they find themselves in court, their attorney will be ethically obligated to raise a religious-freedom defense, since such defenses have sometimes worked.

  • Kid Xenocles||

    I think I've made my position clear. If you want the law to apply to other but not you - for any reason - you are my enemy. If you want to increase freedom for all in one area that you are particularly concerned about - for any reason - you are my friend, provided the freedom in question falls within my very large region of legitimate freedoms.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    My point was that I suspect the Rasta want to legalize MJ for *everyone.*

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    Try this test - look at the Rasta vote in communities that have initiatives, referenda, etc. on MJ. If the Rasta vote to keep the stuff illegal, I take back every nice thing I said about them.

  • sloopyinca||

    OT: Flying commercial is for chumps. Our company just got a new plane and I realized how much I miss the old days before the TSA and their nut-feeling policy.

    And all told, I saved 30 minutes on my trip and was allowed to use whatever electronics I could (which all worked fine by the way).

  • playa manhattan||

    Like a Cessna prop plane, or are we talking a Leer Jet or Gulfstream?

  • playa manhattan||

    That would be "Lear"

  • cavalier973||

    "Leer Jet" is for people wanting to get into the "Mile High Club."

  • Ted S.||

    First Man: When I was young, I was a member of the 4-H Club.

    Second Man: When I was young, I joined the Mile High Club, but I could never keep going for four hours.

  • sloopyinca||

    A Cessna 340A. And now I'm on my return flight and got stuck flying commercial because our pilot had an emergency. The plane is full of Obamacare administrators. If I wasn't on it, this is the kind of plane I would hope goes down.

  • Redmanfms||

    The plane is full of Obamacare administrators. If I wasn't on it, this is the kind of plane I would hope goes down.

    You should hope it goes down anyway, for the team.

  • From the Tundra||

    the FDA has been rattling its saber in the direction of caffeine, which could face a similar fate if the agency’s move against trans fats is successful.

    They apparently want to jump-start a civil war.

  • LynchPin1477||

    Yeah I don't understand this. Do they actually think they will *ban* caffeine?? If there are two issues that could actually lead to violent rebellion, it is gun confiscation and a ban on coffee.

  • A Secret Band of Robbers||

    This would also be the fastest imaginable way to destroy the US lead in software development.

  • Francisco d Anconia||

    Haven't all the recent studies found that caffeine is good for you?

  • playa manhattan||

    Yes. And I say that as somebody who has already had 400 mg today.

  • prolefeed||

    Well, not the studies commissioned by the LDS church.

  • playa manhattan||

    My body is a temple *kisses bicep* but I still put caffeine in it.

  • ||

    Bah, now I'm going to have to go out and buy a bombilla so I can properly enjoy yerba mate and its caffeine analog, mateine.

  • Boisfeuras||

    Mate may be carcinogenic...so if they were ever able to ban caffeine I doubt mate safe would be safe for long.

  • SQRLSY One||

    Hey Y’all, Here’s where to talk at Government Almighty about this…
    http://www.regulations.gov/#!home
    Here’s what I sent them, maybe you could use it as a starting template…
    FDA: With respect to your “Docket No. FDA-2013-N-1317”, would you PLEASE consider the simple concept of “individual freedom”, under which I as a private citizen have the ability to make my own choices, and not merely be considered to be a cow, to be milked for taxes endlessly? As a cow, to be steered hither and yon by barking dog-bureaucrats, with their whips and chains, billy clubs, taxes, fines, and prisons? My body belongs to ME, and if I want to eat some trans fats, who are YOU to be telling me what to do and what not to do all day? Who owns my body, you or me? When all supposedly “good” things are mandated, and all supposedly “bad” things are prohibited, WHERE has human freedom gone? PLEASE just leave things as they are; requirements for honest LABELS about food ingredients make sense; it enables the freedoms of consumers. Endless prohibitions and mandates, on the other hand, are going to bankrupt our once-great nation; sapping our economy as well as our freedoms. Now please BACK OFF, Jack!!!

  • LynchPin1477||

    They don't care about freedom, so an appeal to freedom won't work. This is what I wrote

    I am writing in regards to Docket No. FDA-2013-N-1317, "Tentative Determination Regarding Partially Hydrogenated Oils; Request for Comments and for Scientific Data and Information". *I am strongly against the proposed ban on partially hydrogenated oils.* The decisions about what I consume are mine and mine alone. The proposed action is antithetical to freedom and liberty. Furthermore, there is no scientific basis for eliminating only artificial sources of trans fats but allowing naturally occurring ones. The proposed ban will have unintended consequences which may very well lead to even unhealthier substitutes for trans fats.

    The proposed action further erodes what little faith I have left in government to act in accordance with facts and reason to defend liberty for all. However, I still have full faith that politicians are willing to do almost anything to keep their positions of power. So please let the political appointees in the FDA know that if the proposed ban goes into effect, it will give me even further reason to support political parties that would drastically scale back the role of government in private affairs, including the scope and power and the FDA. As such, if any political appointees in the FDA wish to improve their prospects at keeping their current jobs, then they should *not* authorize the proposed ban.

  • LynchPin1477||

    It explains my reasons but I tried to use an angle they would more likely understand, namely holding on to power.

  • SQRLSY One||

    Hi LynchPin1477, Good job dude or dudette or dudessa, what ever you might be… I agree, especially about relating to the power-seekers on their own level… That is their language! As soon as they see the political winds shifting against them, they will change their tune! I just don’t know WHAT it is going to take to shift the political winds any more, it seems to me that we are a LOT more likely to be shafted by the shifting political winds, than we are EVER likely to be able to affect the shifting political winds… I think we are going to need to have everyone “Send us lawyers, guns, and money, the prog-tards have hit the fan!” But hold hope, Obamacare will save us all…

  • Robert||

    Furthermore, there is no scientific basis for eliminating only artificial sources of trans fats but allowing naturally occurring ones.


    No, not a scientific one, but a statutory one: the distinction between foods generally and food additives. The naturally occurring ones aren't in food additives, but just in foods, while the artificial ones are present in additives and hence subject to stricter provisions by statute.

  • Robert||

    But that comment won't be read by one of those political appointees, just by a civil servant. What you need to do is write to or phone the appointees personally. That's not the subject of a public comment, but a private threat.

  • ||

    It's probably a bad thing that every time someone talks about eating "trans fats" I'm picturing Divine.

  • Robert||

    Such a comment would not even be included in the summary, because FDA has no statutory authority to consider those factors. No, seriously, they are legally not allowed to factor in individual freedom, only whether food is "safe". Evidence that substitution by more dangerous goods would take place, that they're allowed to take into account.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    Does government cheeze have transfat in it?

  • AlmightyJB||

    Posted lasst night but don't think too many folks on at 1:30am. Dog Shot In Face By Columbus Police Officer

  • BardMetal||

    Ah the daily punch to the nuts.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    At least the intruder ought to hesitate to come to the woman's yard again, lest he encounter trigger-happy cops.

  • BardMetal||

    Every time something like this happens I ask myself "what would happen if a CCW holder did the same thing." and then I wonder why I'm held to a much higher standard then our "highly trained professionals"

  • From the Tundra||

    Hmm, this comment sounds familiar:

    Don't ever call the police unless you want someone or something shot to death. The only thing that saved this dog's life is the poor marksmanship of the cop.

    You're everywhere, Sloopy!

  • BakedPenguin||

    Fortunately, at least a majority still oppose it.

  • AlmightyJB||

    The majority opposed ObamaCare as well. They don't care. They're our betters and will decide how we shall and shall not live.

  • Boisfeuras||

    At one time, before the mask slipped off entirely, we at least had the thin veneer of rule of law, and government recognized it needed a constitutional amendment to ban things. I guess they figure amendments can be repealed, but edicts of the regulatory state are virtually invulnerable.

  • Irish||

    The comments on that poll are the worst. Did you know that the reason 50% of women are in favor of the ban is because having a vagina magically makes you understand health better and also women care about other people? Did you know that Democrats are noble and want what's best for everyone, which is why they're overwhelmingly in favor of the ban?

    I've come to realize that the average liberal is just a massive narcissist. They bring up their little personal obsessions regardless of what the article is about.

  • AlmightyJB||

    Yep, Self-obsessed, brainwashed little girls.

  • Irish||

    Also, once again the independents agree with us. If it weren't for the Democratic party being a group-think addled cult, our country would not be tending into the statist abyss.

  • ||

    Oh Yeah? Well in the future, you'll have to get your trans-fatsin the sewers.

  • Kid Xenocles||

    That's convenient, since most of my trans-fats wind up in the sewers.

  • cavalier973||

    So, do the "pro-health" people ever consider that one's health includes one's sex life?

    It's the next logical step; the government must monitor one's sexual activity, for health reasons. There's a lot of diseases that are passed through sex, you know. There will be a ban on multiple partners, maybe. Or maybe, alternatively, some bright young scientist will discover through his research that having more than one partner is actually healthier, and so he gets to sleep with your wife/girlfriend/boyfriend.

    No, no. It's healthier for him to have sex with your partner. It's not necessarily healthier for you to have sex with his.

  • LynchPin1477||

    Can you imagine a government sponsored program on how to improve one's sex life? That might be worth for the laughs.

  • LynchPin1477||

    Government instructor: Polls have shown that dirty talk can be fun. So try sending a "sext" to your partner telling them that you will fuck them over later.

    Couple: You mean just fuck them, right?

    Instructor: What do you think we are talking about here?

    Couple: What do you think we are talking about?

    Instructor: Look, if there is one thing we know about, it is fucking people over.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    Be Happy: Jamaica Paliament legally incorporates the Church of Haile Selassie I (Rastafarians), promises investigation of past atrocity

    "AFTER EIGHT years in gestation, Parliament has finally passed a bill which will give legal standing to the Church of Haile Salassie I....

    "When signed into law by the governor general, the church can be sued and may be sued in all courts in Jamaica....

    "Among other things, the corporation will have the power to acquire, lease, purchase, possess and enjoy lands, and may borrow, raise or secure the payment of money....

    "Last year, Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller announced that the Government would appoint a special team to meet with the leaders of the Rastafarian community to discuss the Holy Thursday [1863] rampage in the community of Coral Gardens that left eight persons, including two policemen, dead."

    http://jamaica-gleaner.com/gle.....news2.html

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    Rastafarians celebrate with a Te Deum:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Km1dDtiC85E

  • AlmightyJB||

    Nice.

  • AlmightyJB||

    I can't get no justice

  • Ted S.||

  • General Butt Naked||

    Haille Sellasse, Up Your Ass.

  • AlmightyJB||

    "Attorney Mark Itzkoff told Politico that the FDA’s move against trans fats was “virtually unprecedented."

    Well at least they're getting their precedent set.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    This is obviously a rhetorical question, but what kind of moron would think giving a smug puerile dimwit like Melissa Harris Perry her own teevee show was a good idea?

    She really took those evul Lululemon moneygrubbers down a peg or two for profiteering from the culture of bodyshaming!

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    "She really took those evul Lululemon moneygrubbers down a peg or two for profiteering from the culture of bodyshaming!"

    Do you have an English translation of these remarks?

  • The Late P Brooks||

    I've come to realize that the average liberal is just a massive narcissist. They bring up their little personal obsessions regardless of what the article is about.

    Exactly. They consider themselves victims of gun violence any time they are forced to read a news story about somebody getting shot, because it makes them feel icky.

  • Irish||

    What strikes me as simply unbelievable is that progressives will force their political obsessions into literally anything. They destroy their personal lives in service to their political lives and would gladly see every aspect of live subverted to a political end.

    It's sickening and it ruins their happiness. I'm not just saying that. Virtually every poll that's been done on the matter has shown progs to be less happy than the average person. I know that self-reporting polls are often bullshit, but the fact that this has been replicated again and again, regardless of who is running the poll, makes me think there's something to this.

    Politics is like acid. It corrodes and destroys whatever it touches. When you allow it to completely invade your personal life, it will inevitably destroy that as well.

  • PapayaSF||

    Absolutely. "The personal is political" is just a poisonous philosophy to adopt. Leftists are always upset at some instance of poverty or injustice, emotionally committed to some "fix" that won't happen, or if it does, it won't do what they hope it will. So frustration and disappointment are guaranteed.

  • LynchPin1477||

    They also allow their "causes" and agendas to infiltrate any and all aspects of their lives. I'm something of an outdoorsman and nowadays, I can't go into a small outfitter without being bombarded by posters telling me how awful synthetic fabrics are for using petroleum products. They still sell them, of course, because progressives only hate other people's profits. But I go to their stores to buy gear, not to get a self-righteous lecture on environmentalism.

    Contrast that with the gun stores I've been to. I don't see posters and pamphlets imploring me to vote R to save the 2nd Amendment. They talk to me about the quality of the firearms and accessories they sell. They don't try to convince me to buy anything because it is my duty to fight gun grabbers, even though they may feel that way. The most I have seen is a picture of Obama next to the cash register with the caption "Worlds greatest gun salesman."

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    OK, I have one more troll card to play:

    "Hundreds of people have braved the rain to queue up for the unprecedented open auditions for two lead roles in Star Wars Episode 7.

    "The inaugural auditions kicked off at 11am today but with eager hopefuls camping out from as early as 4.30am, many later stragglers were left hugely disappointed when the queue had to be closed by 9am....

    "Today’s auditions – held at Bristol’s Arnolfini arts centre – are the first round in a series of open auditions Disney is holding for the next installment of the Star Wars franchise, which is set to be released on December 18 2015.

    "Producers Lucasfilm revealed last week that they are auditioning for a ‘street smart’ girl in her late teens and a ‘smart capable’ man in his late teens or early 20s, according to the casting call. Both should also be ‘beautiful, smart and athletic’....

    ""Casting will take place in November across the UK and Ireland, in cities Glasgow, Manchester, Dublin and London.

    "Film bosses will also be visiting the US for open auditions, in cities including Nashville and Chicago – as well as allowing potential auditionees to show them what they can offer via online applications."

    http://metro.co.uk/2013/11/09/.....l-4179787/

  • AlmightyJB||

    Will Jar Jar Binks be played by Obama?

  • LynchPin1477||

    Jar Jar was far too competent. Obama could never pull it off.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    I'm not sure if I want to touch that one.

    "Let meesa be clear..."

  • AlmightyJB||

    "Mesa caused mabbe one, two-y lettle bitty axadentes"

  • Generic Stranger||

    "Mesa not gonna sugar coat it...Palpatine mabbe notsa be so gooda guy."

  • Ken Shultz||

    "Producers Lucasfilm revealed last week that they are auditioning for a ‘street smart’ girl in her late teens and a ‘smart capable’ man in his late teens or early 20s, according to the casting call."

    Wow. Episode 7 is really gonna suck.

  • AlmightyJB||

    Star Wars meets Twilight probably. *Barf*

  • juris imprudent||

    I was happy when I heard that Lucas was no longer involved in plot development. Then I heard that JJ Asshole was.

  • Eric Bana||

    You know, I saw an article about this in the local newspaper yesterday, and I thought, "Hey, that's probably not so bad. It might not be a bad thing for the FDA to do." Welp, they always turn out to be bad or at best ineffective things when you dig deeper. That'll teach me.

  • Danno||

    Oils are hydrogenated to make them shelf stable like butter. So will this ban mean a comeback for lard? Or was that already banned??? See http://vimeo.com/77730824# for the cholesterol myth.

  • Homple||

    Real Chinese and Mexican cooking uses lard. Have you tasted french fries cooked in beef fat? It makes french fries worth eating.

  • LynchPin1477||

    Horse fat is supposed to be the best. But let's be clear...french fries are almost always worth eating.

  • AlmightyJB||

    One of the guys on moonshiners swore by bear fat.

  • rxc||

    Goose fat is best. Duck comes close.

  • AlmightyJB||

    I've only cooked with lard once so I could try my hand at traditional carnitas. You basically braise large chunks of pork butt in lard for hours. You start with a small amount of water in the lard to keep the pork from frying. Hours later when the water evaporates, the outside gets a nice crispy skin and the inside is wonderfully moist and tender. It was a heavenly experience.

  • Snark Plissken||

    I'll cook with any SFA but mostly use ghee I make myself. It's usually easier that getting fresh lard and is more stable. Just buy a ton of butter and let it cook on very low for about an hour. And ghee is pretty neutral in flavor with a bit of a buttery taste that goes well with most things. Not the cheapest thing in the world but I consider it pretty important.

  • AlmightyJB||

    No issues with burning when using to cook with?

  • playa manhattan||

    Ghee has all of the milk proteins removed, so it does not burn nearly as easily as butter...

  • AlmightyJB||

    cool.

  • A Secret Band of Robbers||

    Almost any SFA is more heat-stable than PUFAs. I have a can of lard, tallow, and ghee that I use for deep frying, and it never burns at normal temperatures.

  • Snark Plissken||

    Yes they are all much more stable.

    First of all no fats are 100% saturated. Tallow is 54% unsaturated, lard is 60% unsaturated more than butter.

    Saturated fats have no double bonds and are the least readily oxidizable. PUFAs are the most readily so. Oxidized fats are bad, M'kay. One has to be careful of oxidation even with healthy omega-3 oils which are PUFAs. And mono-unsaturated type oils like Olive should never be used for cooking as the also have lower stability.

  • John C. Randolph||

    I'm old enough to remember when McDonalds gave up the beef lard for vegetable oil. Once they did that, the only way to make them edible was to massively increase the salt.

    -jcr

  • Redmanfms||

    I'm old enough to remember when McDonalds gave up the beef lard for vegetable oil. Once they did that, the only way to make them edible was to massively increase the salt.

    And the only reason they made the switch was because of the Screaming Moms Brigade hand-wringing over saturated fats.

    Food religionists are literally the worst, most self-centered people in human history. It never occurs to them that they can simply stop eating somewhere that is using a product they don't like. No, they have to bullybear the company into changing because, "My little Jimmy likes the McNuggets and I should be able to give him a healthy meal when I'm too weak and stupid to say no to my 5-year-old shithead kid."

  • PapayaSF||

    Yes. Also to thicken them cheaply. AFAIK, trans fat use has nothing to do with taste per se.

    There are brands of microwave popcorn without trans fats. However, many types of candy have them (e.g. Tootsie Rolls). They may have to revert to old formulas.

    I am a little torn. Trans fats are bad, and the things that would replace them (e.g. butter and saturated fats) are better for you. It's not as if trans fats are traditional tasty ingredients: they're a modern invention, a food-processing shortcut. I generally oppose such nanny state "for your own good" actions, but they have a point on this one.

  • LynchPin1477||

    I'm not really seeing their point. Are trans fats bad? Certainly seems so. Lots of things are bad. Its my choice to use them or not.

    I don't see how this is different than any other nanny state action.

  • AlmightyJB||

    Soylent Green is people!

  • PapayaSF||

    Another aspect is that the government, in the past, actively pushed trans fats, on the (false) theory that they were better than saturated fats. A nanny state action that undoes an earlier, incorrect-on-all-levels nanny state action isn't quite so bad.

    But part of my feeling is due to the fact that, in many cases, you aren't "making a choice" re trans fats, not in the direct way you make a choice to drink or smoke or whatever. This is because (with the exception of margarine) trans fats are only an ingredient, and not really a crucial one from the point of view of taste. They're only there to make the product a little cheaper, give it a longer shelf-life, etc.

  • Ken Shultz||

    "They're only there to make the product a little cheaper, give it a longer shelf-life, etc."

    Why isn't that a worthy consideration?

    If store owners want stuff with a longer shelf life, or consumers care more about something being a little cheaper (than they care about their health that day), then why shouldn't they be allowed to make that choice for themselves?

    Not everybody cares more about their health than they do about their wallet--or other things. And if you're going to start imposing your values on other people, then where does it end?

  • PapayaSF||

    If some modern invention that lengthens shelf life is basically poisonous, that seems like a less worthy consideration than (say) a traditional substance that isn't good for you (alcohol, tobacco) yet gives pleasure on its own. Or something that gives pleasure on its own but some people object to on ethical grounds (e.g. foie gras).

    By your standards, some preservative or food color that causes cancer shouldn't be banned, because "it's a choice" and "where does it end?" I am perfectly willing to compromise libertarian purism now and then, especially if it helps achieve larger libertarian goals.

    I am not arguing for a ban, exactly. It's just that this seems like more of an edge case, and deserves more consideration than a knee-jerk response. Not everything the FDA has done is necessarily bad.

  • rxc||

    The problem is that most of the stuff that the nannies want to ban don't really "cause cancer". They might be associated with an increase in some particular disease, but the numbers are almost always very, very low. They don't have ANY dead bodies to identify specifically. Only statistical deaths that come from models.

    Radiation is a good example. Everyone is irradiated, from the moment they are conceived. But not everyone gets cancer. And there is some evidence that some small dose of radiation can actually be good for you. But the meme is that "there is no proven safe level of radiation exposure". Sound familiar? It will get used again and again to ban things that the progressives fear. It is the precuationary principle in action.

  • Ken Shultz||

    "By your standards, some preservative or food color that causes cancer shouldn't be banned, because "it's a choice" and "where does it end?"

    I think people have a right to smoke.

    I suspect I'd be able to get around town fine in my car, and I could have taken the scenic route through the mountains, up into Sequoia, and over to Tahoe in a car just as well. But I took the motorcycle instead.

    VRooooOOOOom!

    Dangerous? Sure it is! But I think it's worth it for qualitative reasons.

    Letting people make qualitative choices for themselves is the stuff that individualism is made of. ...and that doesn't change just because the things they freely choose to do have what I consider to be negative consequences.

    I don't think people with early stage diabetes should stuff their mouths full of donuts, but for some people, I suppose, if they can't stuff their chubby faces with donuts when they want to, then they don't want to live for another ten or twenty years.

    All of us have unique qualitative preferences--that's a big part of what makes us individuals.

    I just came back from running five miles. Some people would rather not live if living meant they had to run five miles every other day. Just because I don't understand their choices, doesn't mean the government should step in. Getting to make qualitative choices for yourself is probably an excellent definition of freedom.

  • PapayaSF||

    You still seem to be missing the distinction I am making. All of the choices you list are what might be called "direct" choices of something that is risky. I think that requires a much higher level of danger to justify banning, compared to something that's a mere inessential ingredient, a manufacturing/shelf-life convenience that's sprinkled around in hundreds of products.

    Nobody says "Oh boy, I want some delicious trans fats today!" AFAIK, everything that they are in could do fine without them, or there are ready substitutes (e.g. butter for margarine). I think trans fats are more like dangerous food colorings than like smoking or motorcycling. So to me, that implies a lower threshold.

  • Ken Shultz||

    I don't think I'm seeing the distinction you're talking about either.

    It still seems to me that you're ranking your own qualitative considerations higher than other people and then, maybe, inflicting yours on them.

    Sometimes people just don't care about what we want them to care about. A lot of times, people don't know about what you're calling secondary considerations becasue they don't care.

  • Redmanfms||

    It still seems to me that you're ranking your own qualitative considerations higher than other people and then, maybe, inflicting yours on them.

    That's exactly what he's doing and it's not the first time he's done it.

  • Ken Shultz||

    "By your standards, some preservative or food color that causes cancer shouldn't be banned, because "it's a choice" and "where does it end?"

    I think I'm starting to get it...

    If somebody sells you something that, in the regular use of it, will definitely harm you, then you have a good point.

    But the solution to that is to let the aggrieved parties sue in court. If they're selling poisoned food, then take them to court and sue the hell out of 'em.

    I'm still not sure there's a need for regulators to step in in the case of trans fats. I think people who are eating Twinkies, or whatever has trans fats in it, are assuming those risks.

    There's a big difference between the FDA finding that there's no safe level of use and that any given serving is going to cause a heart attack, isn't there? And I doubt there are many people out there eating Twinkies thinking that they're actually good for them.

  • Edwin||

    That's a little silly and inefficient (tort suits) and frankly would open up the door to bogus suits and unnecessary litigation. Do you really think the health nazis will have less power to sway our courts just because they're not across the board regulations? Uncertainty can be a bigger killer in business than regulations.
    The regulatory path is clearly more effective and efficient, the FDA are just being silly. We need to require a more scientific approach; science of course, require actual, significant PROOF. If something actually causes harm when used regularly, it will be easy to find out and prove. All the other stuff about damage from long term low dose exposure of whatever ingredients is all highly speculative and probably false, and just comes from the Captain Planet generation, who WANT to believe this stuff.
    Unfortunately for the people who want to believe that's just how science works. Either something does something, or it doesn;t. Very long term chronic things are very difficult to prove, but that doesn't mean we should change our standard of proof, just because these people WANT to believe these things. Anything outside of acute toxicity is hard to prove; that , or the long-term toxicity of actually nasty stuff like formaldehyde or copper coloring. Anything lower-and-slower than that is just very difficult to prove.

  • Redmanfms||

    By your standards, some preservative or food color that causes cancer shouldn't be banned, because "it's a choice" and "where does it end?" I am perfectly willing to compromise libertarian purism now and then, especially if it helps achieve larger libertarian goals.

    Weren't you the one defending the forced recycling schemes in San Francisco not too long ago?

    It seemed to me then as it seems to me now that you are lacking a lot of libertarianism in your purism.

  • Robert||

    In many cases people who'd otherwise lean toward liberty don't see its value because the vast majority would never be in position to make a meaningful choice. With the economies of scale in some industries, everything's going to be 1 way or t'other market-wide except expensive boutique products or services. People in such a case would incline to have the law decide by which way is best for most.

    Take standard time. Begun voluntarily, it's now decreed by gov't. Now that there's DST, nobody will buck the system by adopting a different time for themselves, but may act politically to change dates when the clocks are set forward or back, at least locally. Likewise, in times of tolerable inflation, you won't see much interest in allowing banking so free that issuers may define their own dollar. People positively don't want a choice in such matters.

    So for people who wanted returnable bottles. They saw once disposable bottles had become the norm, so few businesses would see advantage setting aside facilities for return and cleaning of bottles that the only way to get them would be to mandate that all such containers be returnable by law. We wound up with the absurdity of plastic bottles with deposits on them.

    Similarly with ingreds. of materials in packaging, etc. Free choice has few friends when it amounts to the freedom of just a few in a business to make an effective choice which is opaque to the much more numerous consumers considerably downstream of that decision pt.

  • Ken Shultz||

    I see the point of avoiding trans fats.

    I don't see the point of the FDA making my choices for me.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    Politics is like acid. It corrodes and destroys whatever it touches. When you allow it to completely invade your personal life, it will inevitably destroy that as well.

    There are people I absolutely refuse to speak to, because they are incapable of restraining themselves from interjecting their imbecilic progressive political/economic "analysis" into every fucking thing they talk about.

    There a plenty of people who adamantly disagree with me about the proper size and scope of government, yet we are able to maintain civil and friendly relationships, and have excellent enlightening discussions about a variety of topics, because we tacitly agree to not drag politics into it.

  • A Secret Band of Robbers||

    You people seem very confused about capitalism. Fortunately, there is a Salon columnist who can help set you straight.

  • sticks||

    That writer should stick to satire.

    http://thenewinquiry.com/essay.....advantage/

  • Francisco d Anconia||

    You mean that wasn't satire?

  • VG Zaytsev||

    Meh,

    The word capitalism was originally coined to describe the crony-mercantilist economies of 19th century Europe.

    I've never cared much for the word, preferring private enterprise, economic liberty or free markets.

    It's ironic that the economic fascism that progs love so much is similar to the cronyist economic environment.

  • cavalier973||

    If one defines capitalism as a system designed by and for the interests of those who hold capital (what it is), capitalism is what the United States has today.

    As I don't define capitalism in the same way you do, I cannot therefore accept your conclusion.

  • cavalier973||

    If, for example the Central Government is the sole entity that "holds capital", your definition of a "capitalist society" would still be met.

  • juris imprudent||

    Charles Davis is a writer and producer in Los Angeles whose work has been published by outlets including Al Jazeera, The New Inquiry and Vice.

    Yep, that's who I'm going to for education about economics - a writer and producer from fucking la-la-land.

    You do realize ASBoR that if you keep trolling Salon like that you are destroying your brain in the process. Maybe you should think about huffing paint fumes instead.

  • A Secret Band of Robbers||

    I'm not going to read Salon without huffing first. I'm not a moron.

  • AlmightyJB||

    "Libertarians don’t have to agree on where all this ends (it ends with workers seizing the means of production)"

    You mean abject poverty for all? You might be right.

    "but they should understand that no matter what one replaces it with, dismantling an unjust system requires addressing the injustices that system created."

    If someone made all of their money through government graft, I have no problem with going after that money and returning it to it's rightful owners (i.e. the taxpayers, not the moochers).

  • cavalier973||

    On the contrary, my dear; your bitter tears are so, so sweet.

  • cavalier973||

    I expect a similar reaction to those chuckleheads who want the FedGov to ban "bad things that are bad for us."

    "But...but...I didn't think you would ban my favorite food!!!"

  • Sevo||

    “’Oh my gosh President Obama, this is not what we hoped for,""
    Suck it, bitch. Your "hope" is the shit sandwich that's been fed to everyone in the country.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    Thats the to reach out to potential convrrts...call them stupid. Look, she's grieving and vulnerable, why not make your move and try to recruit her, instead of insulting her?

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    Oh, honey, its awful how that guy treated you. You deserve so much better. Here, let me take you to dinner and we can drop by this cato seminar I know youll love.

    Thats how I get chicks.

  • Redmanfms||

    Thats how I get chicks.

    You've never gotten laid have you?

    Chasing abused chicks, unless one intends to be abusive as well, never works. Some women seemingly make really stupid decisions, but they do decide to date men that abuse them and treat them like shit. Nice guys have no chance with that because these women want to "fix" some guy with love. A dude who isn't broken generates no interest.

  • OneOut||

    "“As we work through all of this I think that a year from now people overall are going to be very, very happy with the way the Affordable Care Act is working,” DeGette said."

    Is the gubment gonna pass another law that makes people be happy with O'care

  • The Late P Brooks||

    Fortunately, there is a Salon columnist who can help set you straight.

    Fortunately, Salon does not like my browser and refuses to format as a readable page, so even if I wanted to (and I DO NOT) I cannot inflict his super awesome wit and wisdom on myself.

  • A Secret Band of Robbers||

    Sadly, that column probably improves the average quality of Salon economics writing. He makes an actual argument about libertarian philosophy and quotes Rothbard in the process. Still, his takeaway is that the free market will never work and the workers will seize the means of production if it's ever tried.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    Marijuana: too deadly to be legal!

    Four people have been charged with abducting the California owner of a medical marijuana dispensary, torturing him and cutting off his penis in an attempt to force him to divulge the location of cash they mistakenly believed he had hidden in the desert.

  • TomG||

    I usually oppose regulations, but there really is no reason to use partially hydrogenated vegetable oils in anything; they are clearly bad for you and there are plenty of good substitutes.

  • Ken Shultz||

    If there were no reason to use partially hydrogenated vegetable oils in anything, then food producers wouldn't use them.

    Even if the reasons have to do with cost and shelf-life, those are still reasons.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    They were only adopted as a response to the oh my god saturated fats KILL people hysteria of the 70s & early 80s. Which included government pressure and threats of more to come.

  • ||

    Fuck you, cuntsore. Shove your idiotic and pointless opinion on fats up your distended sphincter.

  • ||

    I'm sorry, how are they "clearly" bad for you?

  • ||

    no reason to use partially hydrogenated vegetable oils

    There is no reason to eat fat or protein either...no reason to eat meat...no reason to eat bread or drink milk...no reason to eat peanuts i hear those can kill people. Same with almonds and gluten.

  • Edwin||

    Blatantly false. When used to make vegetable shortening, there is no good substitute.
    What modern "trans-fat free" crisco is is they just take fully hydrogenated palm and/or coconut oil, and mix that with regular oils (an idea I thought of way back when when I first read about trans fats but didn't have the wherewithall to realize the health nazis were full of shit). At "room temperature" it appears to have the right consistency, but palm and coconut oil are short chain oils which actually melt really quickly at a low temperature. So that crisco melts all of a sudden at a low temperature in the oven, hardly a desirable quality in shortening.

    You could in theory use highly clarified lard, but that wouldn't be vegetarian or vegan or kosher, and I don't believe you can take that much of the smell/taste out of lard, plus lard is the other way around as a shortening, it may take too LONG to melt.
    Butter also takes too long and has too much flavor to be a substitute, obviously.
    The fact is nothing has the clean, clear flavor of crisco and the like. This is both because it's vegetable oil based, and also because they clarify and filter it so much. In theory they could clarify and filter some other oil so you'll have a good substitute flavor-wise. But again, you wouldn't be able to use it as shortenign.

  • cavalier973||

  • cavalier973||

    "Look, Chuck. We're talking about 5 percent of the population who can't keep their plans. Five percent. And once the Web site starts working right, they will realize they can get better plans anyway."
    Of course, when you're president of the United States, you don't say that--unless you don't want to be president much longer.

  • Sevo||

    OT, but how has this guy not been run out of Berkeley on a rail?
    "Top Dog has satisfied hunger cheap since 1966"
    http://www.sfgate.com/restaura.....961695.php
    "Top Dog showcases a curated list of mostly local sausages, whether it's Calabrese from Molinari, bratwurst from Saag's or bockwurst from Schwarz. Prices start at $3 for the basic frankfurter, simply known as the Top Dog, and top out at $3.50 for the linguica and chicken mango habanero."
    OK, we got the dogs for cheap and a link to the web site:
    "take a proper gander!
    Freedom - Voluntary exchange"
    http://www.topdoghotdogs.com/propergander.html
    What?!

  • playa manhattan||

    I can't tell you how many times I've eaten at that place and not remembered it the next day. One of the few places still open after the bars close.

  • PapayaSF||

    It's a great place. Ate there many times when I lived not far away. The walls are covered with libertarian propaganda, or at least were the last time I was there. They include tax in all purchases, and have cartoon on the wall of a sausage wielding an axe that says "Axe the tax!"

  • Mokers||

    I love Top Dog. Still has lots of libertarian propaganda as well as the world's smallest political quiz on the walls. Definitely give them business in the area!

  • cavalier973||

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    Im looking forward to the hobbit, pary VII.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    The franchise goes ever, ever on
    Like the cleveland browns letting down their fans
    But three parts makes more dough than one
    Anyway, thats my evil plan

  • playa manhattan||

    Trans fats are in more places than you might realize:
    http://nypost.com/2013/11/09/s.....rans-fats/

  • playa manhattan||

    One thing I've noticed lately is that otherwise unhealthful products will say "0 GRAMS TRANS-FAT" in huge letters, as if they are supposed to be good for you.

  • ||

    I always like things that are "a naturally fat free food" but have enough sugar to defeat and army of SugarFrees.

    Typing "an army of SugarFrees" caused me to throw up a bit in my mouth.

  • playa manhattan||

    I'm eating some chorizo bilbao right now and have reached 150 percent of my USRDA of fat. But hey, no trans fats!

    (P.S. I get my spanish meats here: http://www.laespanolameats.com.....=SemiCured)

    It's in Harbor City.

  • ||

    Nice! I turned some leftover pork shank that I had from Bouzy last night into a breakfast scramble. It was quite satisfying. I do regret not adding bacon fat to the butter I fried it all up in.

  • PapayaSF||

    All fats aren't equal. On the good-for-you scale I'd say it runs:

    monosaturated
    saturated
    polyunsaturated
    transfats

  • Ken Shultz||

    Fats Domino
    Minnesota Fats
    Fats Waller

    I'd rank 'em like that.

  • juris imprudent||

    Typing "an army of SugarFrees" caused me to throw up a bit in my mouth.

    But as a true devotee of SugarFree you swallowed. Didn't you?

  • ||

    Always.

  • heddadjn||

    Im making over $30h a month working part time. I kept hearing other people tell me how much money they can make online so I decided to look into it. Well, it was all true and has totally changed my life. This is what I do,.... WWW.Max57.COM

  • Edwin||

    I can't believe I initially fell for all the trans fat mumbo jumbo when I first read about it 10+ years ago. One of the claims put out there was that trans fats can act like a toxin because they could potentially take the place of what wold otherwise be normal fatty acids in cell membranes and such. Obviously specious claim.

  • sindeebir||

    My last pay check was $9500 working 12 hours a week online. My sisters friend has been averaging 15k for months now and she works about 20 hours a week. I can't believe how easy it was once I tried it out. This is what I do......
    www.Rush64.com

  • ||

    ▲▬▆ ▆▬▆■▉▬▉▉▉ I just got paid $858o working off my computer this month. And if you think that's cool, my divorced friend has twin toddlers and made over $9k her first month. It feels so good making so much money when other people have to work for so much less. This is what I do,

    ►●►●►●►▶ http://www.jobs53.com

  • Galane||

    Today I read that the FDA now wants to tightly regulate salt and sugar content in food.

    I guess they either haven't seen, or are simply ignoring, the CDC study that disproved the "too much salt" junk science based on 40+ year old flawed studies with rodents fed massive amounts of salt.

    The results of the CDC study suggest that many people aren't getting enough salt in their diet and that not getting enough salt causes heart disease - the opposite of the long held belief that too much salt is a cause of heart disease.

    The CDC study also found little, if any, link between salt intake and high blood pressure except for in extreme cases.

  • taithit||

    my co-worker's half-sister makes $81 hourly on the computer. She has been fired for 5 months but last month her pay was $20214 just working on the computer for a few hours. hop over to this website.....
    WWW.JOBS84.COM

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