Lawmaker wants to ban trans fats from Mass. restaurants
A state lawmaker wants to follow the lead of New York City and make Massachusetts the first state in the nation to require restaurants to banish artificial trans fats from their menus.
State Rep. Peter Koutoujian, D-Waltham, filed legislation today to ban all restaurants' use of the fats that health officials blame for increasing the risk of heart disease.
Koutoujian, house chairman of the Legislature's Joint Committee on Public Health, thinks it has a good chance of passing.
Trans fat is produced when hydrogen is added to vegetable oil through hydrogenation.
New York this month became the first U.S. city to ban trans fats.
Some fast-food chains are already eliminating trans fats on their own.
Koutoujian's bill uses similar language to New York City's regulations. No foods with artificial trans fat could be used to prepare menu items in Massachusetts restaurants, with the exception of food served directly to customers in the manufacturer's original sealed package. (AP)