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The Contra Costa Times reports that California’s State Assembly Health Committee has approved a bill that would “phase out the use of oils, margarine and shortening containing trans fats to prepare foods in restaurants, bakeries, delicatessens and other businesses classified as ‘food facilities’ starting in 2009…Food items sold in their manufacturers' sealed packaging would be exempt.”

The bill now goes to the Assembly’s Appropriations Committee; if approved by that body, it then goes to the full Assembly for debate and, presumably, a vote.

The bill is similar to one that has been approved by the city of New York, and legislation being considered in a variety of versions in some 15 other states.

The Times notes that “representatives of the California Restaurant Association and the Grocery Manufacturers and Food Products Association contended the bill would lead to shortages of oils free of trans fats and force owners of small restaurants to pay higher prices for cooking oil.”
KC's View:
We’re not sure that “shortages of oils free of trans fats” is a legitimate objection. If California passes this bill, we suspect that the makers of such oils will ramp of production to meet the demand in the nation’s most populous state.