WASHINGTON - February 8 -
Restaurants in the city of brotherly love are about to become a lot more lovable, with the news that the Philadelphia city council has unanimously passed an ordinance that would get rid of artificially produced and heart-attack-inducing trans fat. Like New York City's similar move, this will further accelerate the pace of partially hydrogenated oil's departure from the food supply, and we hope Mayor John Street promptly signs it into law.
These bold public health actions, along with the trans-fat-phaseouts being considered by health departments, city councils, and state legislatures across the country, should be particularly embarrassing to the Food and Drug Administration, which is merely observing all of the action on the playing field from its perch in the bleachers. This is an agency, after all, that took more than ten years just to list trans fat on food labels. Nevertheless, I hope the FDA eventually takes action on the regulatory petition they've been sitting on since 2004, which would get rid of partially hydrogenated oil altogether and spare the need for cities and states to do this on their own.