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New York City bans trans fats

New York City has banned most artificial trans fats from restaurants, forcing national fast-food chains like McDonalds and Burger King and diners alike to phase out the oils from their cooking.

The ban will not benefit Christmas shoppers as it comes into force in July 2007. Restaurants will be given a three-month grace period before facing fines. Those making doughnuts and other baked goods will be given until July 2008 to phase out trans fats.

Trans fats are made synthetically in a process called hydrogenization. The process is used to extend product shelf life and enhance the texture of some foods. Trans fats increase the risk of heart disease and stroke by increasing levels of so-called 'bad' cholesterol known as LDL, and reducing levels of 'good', or HDL, cholesterol.

The restaurant industry opposed the measure saying it should be allowed to continue voluntary efforts to eliminate trans fats and has threatened to sue. 'We're keeping all our options open, including potential litigation,' said Dan Fleshler, a spokesman for the National Restaurant Association.

Page created on December 11th, 2006

Page updated on December 1st, 2009