Illinois trans fat ban fails in state senate

June 8, 2011

According to the Chicago Tribune, restaurants, bakeries, and school vending machines will not be banned from offering foods with artificial trans fats any time soon. On May 26, the Illinois Senate voted 40-13 against legislation that would have banned trans fats from foods prepared on site and sold in stores. The measure would have exempted packaged foods, school cafeterias, and small businesses with fewer than 50 employees or less than $4 million in annual sales.

The bill, sponsored by Sen. Donne Trotter, met strong resistance from lawmakers, with many calling it overreaching and an unnecessary intrusion of government in people's lives. Trotter (D-Chicago) argued the legislation would have protected the public and saved the state money in healthcare costs needed to treat illnesses such as heart disease that have been linked to trans fats.

Even though the legislation would not apply to packaged goods, Sen. Mike Jacobs (D-East Moline) stressed that many companies like Nabisco already have taken steps to remove trans fats from their products such as Oreo cookies.

Chicago Tribune article

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