Legislative Digest

General Assembly 2009

March 04, 2009|By LAURA SMITHERMAN

Trans-fat bill draws an unlikely ally

Legislation to ban trans fat in restaurant cooking statewide has drawn backing from an unlikely ally - the Restaurant Association of Maryland.

The group has lobbied hard against the proposal in recent years. But this year, it said it is squarely behind the ban and pointed out that most restaurants have eliminated trans fat from frying oil and are buying trans fat-free alternatives for baked goods.

The group said the bill should be expanded to cover food products sold at stores. The group is bowing to a trend; the Baltimore City Council passed such a ban last year. But the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, while not taking a position on the bill, cautioned that the proposal could have the unintended consequence of diverting consumer attention from other unhealthy ingredients such as sugar or sodium.

After all, one official put it, Krispy Kreme doughnuts no longer contain trans fat.

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