The Ban-Trans-Fats Petition for Dutchess County sign now

Do you think that Dutchess County should follow the recent examples of Westchester County and New York City-- and make sure that trans fats are banned in all restaurants in our county?

According to the Harvard School of Public Health, "by our most conservative estimate, replacement of partially hydrogenated fat [trans fats] in the U.S. diet with natural unhydrogenated vegetable oils would prevent approximately 30,000 premature coronary deaths per year, and epidemiologic evidence suggests this number is closer to 100,000 premature deaths annually." 30,000 to 100,000 premature deaths each year means between 82 and 274 each day.

Westchester County's Health Commissioner Dr. Joshua Lipsmann stated December 20th the following in regards to the ban on trans fats in restaurants there: "Given what we know about the toxic effects of trans fats, we are expecting 50 to 100 fewer deaths per year as a result of this, and that's a good thing."
[see "Westchester Serves Up Ban on Trans Fat at 3,000 Eateries" by Candice Ferrette (Journal News 12/21/07): LoHud.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20071221/NEWS02/712210371/1027/NEWS11]

Dutchess County's population is 295,146 (2006 Census estimate); Westchester County's population is a little bit more than three times that-- at 949,355 (2006 Census estimate). Logic says that we could save fifteen to thirty lives a year here in Dutchess County if we followed Westchester's and New York City's good examples.

Note-- according to BanTransFats.com, as it is already, McDonald's, Burger King, Wendy's, Taco Bell, Dunkin' Donuts, KFC, Pizzeria Uno, Boston Pizza, Starbucks, Denny's, Applebee's, Red Lobster, Olive Garden, Arby's, Chili's, TGI Friday's, Bennigan's, and many other restaurants have all made giant strides over the past year towards making sure trans fats are replaced in the food they serve their customers.

If all of those chain restaurants can take the trans fats out of the items on their menus, there's no excuse why all of the restaurants in our county can't substitute something else for trans fats. The fact is that there are quite a few manufacturers and distributors of trans fat-free restaurant frying oils: AAK, FryChef, Aarhus, ACH, ADM, Asoyia, Bunge, California Rice Oil, Canbra, Cargill, CSP/Whole Harvest, Catania-Spagna, Conagra-Wesson, Loders Croklaan, Nexcel, Pyco, Restaurant Technologies, Riceland, Sams, Sysco, Supreme/Admiration, Ventura, and US Foodservice, according to the experts at BanTransFats.com.

Finally, a bit more background on this from the folks at BanTransFats.com-- "There are four kinds of fats: monounsaturated fat, polyunsaturated fat, saturated fat, and trans fat. Monounsaturated fat and polyunsaturated fat are the "good" fats. It is generally accepted that consumption of saturated fat should be kept low, especially for adults. Trans fat (which means trans fatty acids) is the worst kind of fat, far worse than saturated fat. Partial hydrogenation is an industrial process used to make a perfectly good oil, such as soybean oil, into a perfectly bad oil. The process is used to make an oil more solid; provide longer shelf-life in baked products; provide longer fry-life for cooking oils, and provide a certain kind of texture or "mouthfeel." The big problem is that partially hydrogenated oil is laden with lethal trans fat. Partially hydrogenated oils are commonly found in processed foods like commercial baked products such as cookies, cakes and crackers, and even in bread. They are also used as cooking oils (called "liquid shortening") for frying in restaurants."

Enough; if you'd like to help save fifteen to thirty lives a year here in Dutchess County with a ban on trans fats in local restaurants similar to what Westchester County and New York City have passed, sign on to this petition, pass it along to all you know, and send a letter to [email protected] (see NoTransFatNYC.org).

Joel Tyner
County Legislator
Clinton/Rhinebeck
324 Browns Pond Road
Staatsburg, NY 12580
[email protected]
(845) 876-2488

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"Westchester Serves Up Ban on Trans Fat at 3,000 Eateries"
by Candice Ferrette [Journal News 12/21/07]
http://www.lohud.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20071221/NEWS02/712210371/1027/NEWS11

Westchester County is the only place in the state north of New York City that has banned trans fats in food-serving establishments. Massachusetts has a similar ban. An article omitted the mention of Massachusetts.

NEW ROCHELLE - Westchester health officials have banned artificial trans fats from all food establishments, making it the only place in the state, north of New York City, to prohibit chefs from cooking with the artery-clogging oils.

The 12 members of the Westchester County Board of Health yesterday voted unanimously to change the sanitary code, which applies to 3,000 permitted food establishments in the county, including restaurants, cafes, corporate cafeterias and religious organizations that regularly serve food, delis and mobile food carts.

The change will take effect 90 days after the county notifies the food-service operators that the amendment has been ratified by the state.

"Given what we know about the toxic effects of trans fats, we are expecting 50 to 100 fewer deaths per year as a result of this, and that's a good thing," said Dr. Joshua Lipsman, the county health commissioner.

Artificial trans fatty acids - commonly called trans fats - are found in some vegetable oils, shortening and stick margarines. Manufacturers add hydrogen to the oils because it increases the products' shelf life and the flavor of foods.

The fats have been known to clog arteries and raise LDL, or bad, cholesterol levels, contributing to heart disease...

Proponents of the ban argue that trans-fat-free oils such as olive, soybean, safflower, sunflower and canola oils are easy to find and have dropped in price.

Jeffrey Kohn, owner of the Kneaded Bread bakery and Q Restaurant, both in Port Chester, said switching to the healthier oils wasn't difficult..

Diners at Fair Deal Cafe in White Plains yesterday said they appreciated the Health Board's move to consider the nutritional needs of county residents.

"It was a long time coming, and I'm wholeheartedly for it," said Bernard Price, 49, who was on his lunch break from Scarsdale's Department of Sanitation. "The government should've regulated this long ago because of the hidden dangers of trans fats."

Westchester is the second county in the state to ban trans fats.

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From http://www.westchestergov.com/news_transfatban.htm...
[excerpt here below]

Trans-Fats Law Takes Effect
Inspections of food establishments for trans-fats in cooking oil begins

Jan. 17, 2008

With its recipe for healthier food preparation, Westchester Countys ban on the use of cooking oils that contain trans-fat is now in effect for restaurants, school cafeterias and other licensed food service establishments.

Starting today, Health Department inspectors will check for trans-fat oils whenever they inspect restaurants and other licensed food service establishments. Those still using trans-fat oils will be issued a violation if illegal cooking oils are found, but will not be fined as long as they switch oils. Letters to this effect were sent to all licensed food service businesses yesterday.

After the 90-day grace period ends on April 8, restaurants and other food service businesses that do not comply with the new law will be cited and could be fined. The ban only covers cooking oil.

The ban took effect after the New York State Department of Health officially filed an amendment to the Westchester County Sanitary Code prohibiting the use of cooking oils that contain trans-fat by licensed food service establishments in the county. That amendment was passed by the Westchester County Board of Health on December 20, 2007, following a public hearing held in November at the Health Department offices in New Rochelle.

Food service operators can also find out more about the amendment by calling one of the Health Department District Offices below:
New Rochelle District Office 813-5134
Mount Kisco District Office 864-7331
Yonkers District Office231-2975

A substantial body of scientific evidence has demonstrated an association between trans-fat consumption and coronary heart disease. Trans-fat has been shown to increase levels of harmful LDL cholesterol and lower levels of beneficial HDL cholesterol. One study estimated that 23 percent of coronary heart disease events could be avoided by replacing trans-fats with healthier alternatives.

The decision to pass this amendment was made by the Board of Health after hearing testimony on the scientific evidence of a clear association between dietary trans-fat and coronary heart disease, said Dr. Joshua Lipsman, Commissioner of Health for Westchester County.

The Board of Health is dedicated to improving the quality of life for all Westchester residents, said Dr. Douglas Aspros, president of the Westchester County Board of Health. No one will miss trans-fats in cooking oil and everyones health will be better for their absence.

Supporters of the ban, including renowned nutritional experts Meir Stampfer of Harvard School of Public Health, Walter C. Willett of Harvard Medical School, and Michael F. Jacobson of the Center for Science in the Public Interest, presented a strong case for the ban at recent public hearing.

You could save many lives at virtually no cost to citizens and the county and only a temporary modest cost and inconvenience to the restaurants, said Dr. Jacobson in support of the ban.

By participating in our BeFit Restaurant voluntary pledge initiative in the past, many local restaurants have already discovered that eliminating trans-fats need not compromise taste or increase costs significantly, said Dr. Lipsman. We believe this is a win-win situation for all concerned.

For more information, please contact the Westchester County Health Department at (914) 813-5000 or visit the Health Department website at www.westchestergov.com/health.

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[local law proposed here below by yours truly-- submitted February 12th;
also see http://www.co.dutchess.ny.us/countygov/departments/Health/Reports/DCSC.pdf]

A Local Law to amend the Sanitary Code of the County of Dutchess, in relation to prohibiting the use of artificial trans fats by food service establishments.

Be it enacted by the Dutchess County Legislature as follows:

Section 1. Legislative findings and intent. Trans fat intake increases the risk of heart disease, which is a leading cause of death in Dutchess County. Because a significant portion of dietary trans fat comes from foods purchased at food service establishments, the presence of artificial trans fat purchased at such establishments contributes to cardiovascular risk in Dutchess County. The 2005 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, issued by the United States Department of Agriculture, recommend that dietary intake of trans fat be as low as possible.

The Dutchess County Legislature finds that the presence of artificial trans fat in foods prepared in food service establishments and mobile food unit commissaries poses a threat to the public health. Therefore, the Dutchess County Legislature finds it warranted to incorporate the ban on artificial trans fat into the Dutchess County Sanitary Code.

Section 2. the Sanitary Code of the County of Dutchess is amended by adding section 14.4 to read as follows:

Section 14.4 Foods containing artificial trans fat.

a. Definitions. The following terms shall have the following meanings:

1. Artificial trans fatshall have the following meaning: "fat made from partial hydrogenation" and

2. Food service establishment shall have the meaning as such term is defined in Subpart 14-1 of the New York State Sanitary Code and

b. Artificial trans fat restricted. No foods containing artificial trans fat shall be stored, distributed, held for service, used in preparation of any menu item or served by any food service establishment; provided that this subdivision shall not apply to food that is served directly to patrons in a manufacturers original sealed package.

c. Rules. The Dutchess County Health Department may promulgate such rules as may be necessary to implement the provisions of this section.

3. This local law shall take effect on January 1, 2009 with respect to oils, shortenings and margarines containing artificial trans fat that are used for frying or in spreads, oils or shortenings used for deep frying of yeast dough or cake batter, and for all other foods containing artificial trans fat.

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Shawna MaddenBy:
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