Transvet verbod new york
The Health Department today proposed for
public comment two separate initiatives that will affect New York City restaurants. The
first proposal is a partial phase-out of artificial trans fat in all New York City
restaurants. The second would require restaurants that already make calorie content
publicly available on or after March 1, 2007 to also post it on their menus and menu
boards. The proposed changes are available for public comment on the Department's website,
nyc.gov/health. There will also be a public hearing on October 30, 2006.
First Proposal: Partial Phase-Out of
Artificial Trans Fat
Artificial trans fat is an unnecessary
and dangerous ingredient in food. The Health Department is proposing that restaurants
remove most artificial trans fats from their cooking over an 18-month period.
"New Yorkers are consuming a
hazardous, artificial substance without their knowledge or consent," Health
Commissioner Dr. Thomas R. Frieden said. "Trans fat causes heart disease. Like lead
in paint, artificial trans fat in food is invisible and dangerous, and it can be replaced.
While it may take some effort, restaurants can replace trans fat without changing the
taste or cost of food. No one will miss it when it's gone"
Restaurants are a major source of
artificial trans fat. On average, Americans consume almost 6 grams of trans fat each day;
a single fast food meal can contain more than 10 grams of trans fat. While the Federal
Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has required food manufacturers to list trans fat
content on all nutrition labels since January 1, 2006, restaurant customers have no
practical way to know whether food they eat contains artificial trans fat.
This proposal allows restaurants six
months to switch to oils, margarines and shortening that have less than 0.5 grams of trans
fat per serving. After 18 months, all other food items would need to contain less than 0.5
grams of trans fat per serving. Packaged food items still in the manufacturer's original
packaging when served would be exempt.
Restaurants Have Not Voluntarily Removed
Artificial Trans Fat
The Health Department conducted a
year-long education campaign to help restaurants voluntarily reduce trans fat. Information
was provided to every restaurant in New York City and training was provided to help
restaurants and food suppliers make the change. Restaurants were surveyed before and after
the campaign. While some restaurants reduced or stopped using artificial trans fat,
overall use did not decline at all. In restaurants where it could be determined whether
trans fat was used, half used it in oils or spreads both before and after the year-long
campaign. A year after this voluntary effort, New Yorkers are still being exposed to high
levels of dangerous trans fat.
Walter Willett, M.D., Dr. P.H., Chair of
the Department of Nutrition at the Harvard School of Public Health, said, "If New
Yorkers replace all sources of artificial trans fat, by even the most conservative
estimates, at least 500 deaths from heart disease would be prevented each year in New York
City - more than the number of people killed annually in motor vehicle crashes. Based on
long-term studies, the number of preventable deaths may be many times higher. Trans fat
from partially hydrogenated vegetable oil is a toxic substance that does not belong in
Many restaurants and several restaurant
chains have already reduced or eliminated artificial trans fat - or never used it in the
first place. Artificial trans fat can be replaced with readily available heart-healthy
oils (e.g., corn, canola, soy), without changing the taste of foods. Restaurants can
switch to trans fat-free products with no significant increase in cost.
Tim Zagat, Co-founder and CEO of Zagat
Survey, said, "This proposal is both good and long overdue. With all of the trans
fat-free products on the market today, restaurants should have no trouble complying with
"For the past year, Sylvia's
Restaurant made the proactive decision to invest in the health of our customers by
changing to oil that has zero trans fat", said H. Kenneth Woods, President and CEO of
Sylvia's Restaurant. "Sylvia's Restaurant for the past 44 years has been America's
number one choice for soul food cuisine and we are extremely proud to know that our food
tastes better than ever and our customers' health is not being compromised by consuming
Carnegie Deli owner Sanford Levine said,
"We have been using 100% Canola Oil for 20 years because it has a better taste and is
better for the customers. It's easy to replace artificial trans fat, it costs the same,
and the food tastes great. Our cakes and other baked goods are already trans fat free. If
we can do it, so can other restaurants."
Second Proposal: Calorie Labeling
In addition, to help customers have ready
access to information, the Health Department is proposing that some restaurants post
calorie information on menus and menu boards, where consumers can see it before they
Published calorie information is often
located in places such as hard-to-find brochures, the internet, or on food wrappers or
tray liners, where customers cannot see it at the time of purchase.
Eating more calories than the body needs
causes excess weight gain, which leads to obesity, diabetes and heart disease. Obesity
among U.S. adults more than doubled over the past three decades, from 14.5% to 32.2%. A
large soda can have 600 calories and a single dinner may contain up to 1600 calories -
three-quarters of the recommended daily calories of about 2,000 calories for an average
This proposal would only affect
restaurants that make calorie information for standard menu items publicly available on or
after March 1, 2007 (e.g., in a brochure, on packaging or online). The Health Department
estimates that this proposal would affect about one in 10 restaurants. The Health
Department does not think it would be feasible to validate or publish calorie information
in restaurants without standard menus, and has no plans to require this for all
restaurants in the future.
"We want to put more information
into the hands of consumers," the Department's Assistant Commissioner for Chronic
Disease Prevention, Dr. Lynn Silver, said. "By knowing how many calories a food
contains before they buy it, New Yorkers can make more informed choices. New Yorkers have
this information available to them when they buy their groceries; under this proposal, it
would be available to them, where feasible, when they buy food in restaurants."
"New Yorkers get at least a third of
their calories from food eaten outside the home," said Marion Nestle, Ph.D.,
Professor of Nutrition, Food Studies, and Public Health at New York University.
"People often eat more calories than they need and are not aware of how many calories
are in the foods and drinks they get served. With obesity, it is how much you eat that
matters most. Providing calorie information before they buy foods should help consumers
better understand the links between what they choose to eat and how much they weigh."
Quotations from Restaurant Owners & Operators
Chip Shop owner Chris Sell, said, "I
can find trans fat-free and cholesterol-free oil for the same price as oil full of trans
fat and cholesterol, so I am always going to choose the trans fat-free oil. We have been
completely trans fat-free for the past five."
Allysa Torey, Magnolia Bakery owner said,
"We make all our products without trans fat, including our famous cupcakes. We only
use shortening in a small number of our seasonal products and don't anticipate any issues
in making the change."
Leslie Meenan, Managing Partner at Cafť
Habana said, "Cooking with trans fat-free oils accentuates the natural flavors of the
food. It is just as easy to cook without trans fat and the food tastes better."
Monica Von Thun CalderÚn, owner of
Grandaisy Bakery, said "Grandaisy Bakery has been totally committed to baking without
trans fat since its inception because the health of our customers is important to us.
Simple ingredients make a great tasting product."
Mohammad Moqbul Hossain, partner in Taste
of Tandoor, said "Taste of Tandoor is already cooking without any artificial trans
fat. The food we make for our customers, we also eat ourselves, so we are committed to
making the healthy food."
Manuel Colon, General Manager of Bistro
Cassis, said, "We switched to trans fat free-oil because we liked the taste better
than food fried in oil with trans fat. We have not had to change recipes or increase
prices to customers as a result of the change."