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WRT trans fats, the FDA should ...

Displaying poll results.
Ban 'em outright
  7189 votes / 39%
Regulate with a heavy hand, but not ban.
  2092 votes / 11%
Regulate moderately; labels & limits.
  2113 votes / 11%
Try to nix egregious or unlabeled use.
  1712 votes / 9%
Stay out of my cabinet and grocery store!
  2773 votes / 15%
Die in a Twinkie fire!
  2434 votes / 13%
18313 total votes.
[ Voting Booth | Other Polls | Back Home ]
  • Don't complain about lack of options. You've got to pick a few when you do multiple choice. Those are the breaks.
  • Feel free to suggest poll ideas if you're feeling creative. I'd strongly suggest reading the past polls first.
  • This whole thing is wildly inaccurate. Rounding errors, ballot stuffers, dynamic IPs, firewalls. If you're using these numbers to do anything important, you're insane.
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WRT trans fats, the FDA should ...

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  • by jandrese (485) <> on Thursday November 07, 2013 @05:03PM (#45360375) Homepage Journal
    You see this a lot with automatic sentencing and the like. It ends up being a "no common sense" policy that ends up hurting people only tangentially related to the original problem. The better solution is a general ban on use, but allow exceptions for cases where it makes sense.
    • Normally I'd agree, but who'd be tangent to the problem?
      • by lgw (121541)

        There are many foods with naturally occurring low amounts of trans-fat. An outright ban would be far too broad. The ban should really be on adding trans-fats, which it more or less is.

    • by NoNonAlphaCharsHere (2201864) on Thursday November 07, 2013 @05:25PM (#45360727)
      When margarine is outlawed, only outlaws will have margarine!
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Outright bans are also contrary to the liberal philosophy on which Western civilization is based. Furthermore, prohibition is proven to have some nasty unintended consequences.

      I like the approach we take toward smoking: adults can use it if they want, but only with full awareness of the fact that it is suicidal. Require similar labeling on trans fat foods. Don't take away citizens' choices - ensure they are making informed choices.

      • Why does DDT come to mind?
        It's not quite the same as trans fat but sometimes outright bans are for a good reason and work.

        • I don't know why it comes to mind, DDT is still used in the world where malaria is common.
          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by Anonymous Coward

            and the ban of DDT has been linked to more deaths than all modern wards combined.

            And then it was demonstrated that the issues with DDt were so blatantly overstated that even the World health organization has now lifted its ban on DDT for use to control malaria.

            • Which is actually a perfect example how a general ban with sensible exceptions is a good thing.

              IMO antibiotics should be placed in that position as well. Not for general use, but very useful when applied where absolutely necessary.

      • by lorenlal (164133)

        We know why it's in foods. It's cheap. It's really cheap. To make sure that choice is clear, labels would need a requirement that any amount is listed... and not allowing the "less that .5 gram" exception that exists today.

        Of course, there's a part of me that knows that people won't think about any consequences anyway. I weigh freedom which allows increased public health costs (medicaid, medicare, Social Security Disability, whatever else) of allowing this choice, vs an outright ban that might make that

      • by Ambassador Kosh (18352) on Thursday November 07, 2013 @06:45PM (#45361847)

        Your body has facilities in it to process burning plant matter. To remove a lot of what it does. It is stupid to do it but our evolution does give us some protection against it. However we don't have adaptations to deal with those modern trans-fats. I am only talking about the artificial ones, not the natural ones. We have enzymes designed to break trans-fat linkages at specific points in a chain, they ONLY work at those specific points. So natural trans-fats we don't have a problem with. The artificial ones would be okay if they had their cross links at the same location but they don't. As a result we can't process them correctly and that leads to a lot of problems.

        This is not in any way like smoking. Good on the FDA for regulating them.

      • Outright bans are also contrary to the liberal philosophy on which Western civilization is based. Furthermore, prohibition is proven to have some nasty unintended consequences.

        I like the approach we take toward smoking: adults can use it if they want, but only with full awareness of the fact that it is suicidal. Require similar labeling on trans fat foods. Don't take away citizens' choices - ensure they are making informed choices.

        Out of curiosity, what is your stance on banning the use of diethylene glycol [] as a cheaper substitute for glycerin as a humecant and sweetener in foods?

        • (Bart tries to seek help from a French policeman after he is sent into town by Cesar and Ugolin, and he walks away dejected, because he couldn't communicate in French with the policeman.)

          Bart: I'm so stupid. Anybody could have learned this dumb language by now. Here I've listened to nothing but French for the past (Speaking French) two months and I haven't learned a word. Wait! I'm talking French now. Incredible!

          (Bart runs back up to the French policeman.)

          Bart: (Speaking French) You gotta help me! Th

        • I would like it available, if only rarely, at least once a year 'round the mother-in-law's birthday.
      • by JWSmythe (446288) <> on Thursday November 07, 2013 @10:16PM (#45364047) Homepage Journal

        Food producers were given ample opportunity to reduce trans fats. I don't know if they've threatened the outright ban already, but I doubt this is a big surprise to major food corps.

        It seems that they're targeting fast food and frozen food products. I don't know that a ban is a great thing. A stronger push to reduce would probably be better.

        Banning foods that aren't good for you is a slippery slope, and wen it impacts particular food stuffs, the people will get very upset. You can use the New York soft drink ban as an example. It was voted upon ont Sept 13, 2012. It was invalidated by the New York Supreme Court on Mar 11, 2013.

        The government should not be deciding if a food is good or bad for you. The exception is carcinogenic foodstuffs that you may not be aware of (like red dye #2 and #4 and orange dye #1).

        Honestly, they have bigger issues that they could be addressing like "meat glue", "pink slime", false label "honey" and "maple syrup", and fish that could be anything but what the package says.

        Actually, I'd love to see them enforce what the package says or implies is actually true of the product. If the front of the package says "all natural" with a tiny asterisk, but the back of the package has a microprint line that says "may contain up to 10% real [product]" or "may contain arsenic and/or cyanide", really isn't doing anyone any good.

        And fucking hell, I want "Pringles Light potato crisps" to have in big bold words across the front "Contains Olestra! You may shit your pants while eating this!" Mmmm.. Can't eat just one, eh?

        • by DarkOx (621550)

          Honestly, they have bigger issues that they could be addressing like "meat glue", "pink slime", false label "honey" and "maple syrup", and fish that could be anything but what the package says.

          I hate reading this. Look pink slime, while not a name that makes you salivate is a perfectly good product. You don't need to be putting the best cuts of meat into something like a frozen burrito but it is nice to have some real meat in it. Pink Slime is perfectly safe healthy meat protein at very low cost. It may very likely be even safer in terms of resistance to contamination than the rest of the meat to leave the processing plant. Pink Slime is very much still beef, its not a false label. Just bec

          • by JWSmythe (446288)

            I don't disagree with that. It's a food stuff. If I want cut rate meat filled, great. The FDA is still allowing up to 15% pink slime without additional labeling.

            My complaint is, what I buy should be what it says it is. Should old re-labeled meat treated with carbon monoxide still be sold? I've bought good looking meat, but when I got it home and opened the package it was clearly bad.

            When I buy a chicken or turkey, is it really fair to pay extra because they injected saline, increasing the weight by 15%

      • Odd. Last time I checked a lot of substances were outlawed, to possess, to produce, to ship, to manufacture, etc.

        Most of them are either dangerous to life by their very nature (like certain chemicals that go boom if you don't know what you're doing) or because eating, drinking, snorting, injecting or otherwise pushing them into your body is either directly or indirectly harmful. Trans fat belongs in that second category.

    • by vilanye (1906708)

      Exactly when would it make sense to use trans fats?

      How about never?

      • by nytes (231372) on Thursday November 07, 2013 @07:42PM (#45362491) Homepage

        I would think that foods that you want to have a very extended shelf life, and little intention of ever eating very much of, like emergency meals. Maybe MRE's?

      • by msauve (701917)
        "How about never?"

        No beef or milk for you. Enjoy your vegan life.
      • by fatphil (181876)
        > Exactly when would it make sense to use trans fats?

        From about 1910 to 1980 and beyond?

        Are you trying to pretend they didn't make good *commercial* sense? Worse - are you maligning the almighty dollar?
        • by sjames (1099)

          That will make perfect sense IF the manufacturers would care to foot the bill for the excess medical costs. To date, I figure they owe about 84 billion in medical costs for heart attacks. There'll be more liabilities for the half million wrongful deaths and for whatever medical interventions were necessary but not accounted for by heart attacks.

          That's a heap of money. They're going to need a payment plan.

      • When it's not an additive, but occurs naturally in the food and/or cooking process.

    • You see this a lot with automatic sentencing and the like.

      ah horseshit!

      we "ban" all kinds of food addatives! it's a matter of course...

      dont' get me wrong, we should "ban" automatic sentencing laws too...

      but your logic (and the phrasing of this question) is ridiculous

    • by bfandreas (603438)
      I don't like outright bans with licensed exceptions. that's idiotic. The other extreme is hoping that "market forces" or unicorns or other things magically manage to regulate this.

      What is needed is an informed and sympathetic consumer and regulation of excesses. Especially the first bit is not easy to achieve but it is the right thing to do. Same thing should be done with sugary stuff.

      How about we tell everybody that their favourite brand of coke contains some salt so they feel the need to drink more of
    • Who, exactly, is going to be hurt by a ban on putting this particular poison in food?
  • by themushroom (197365) on Thursday November 07, 2013 @05:20PM (#45360647) Homepage

    Though there's nothing wrong with living as who you are.

  • by PPH (736903) on Thursday November 07, 2013 @05:34PM (#45360917)

    None allowed south of the Mason-Dixon line.

  • What gives? (Score:5, Funny)

    by tippe (1136385) on Thursday November 07, 2013 @05:40PM (#45360987)

    Where's the "should be flavoured with bacon fat" selection? I have no idea how to vote on this one guys...

  • by 93 Escort Wagon (326346) on Thursday November 07, 2013 @05:40PM (#45360991)

    If they ban them completely, they'll invariably screw up the language when they try to cover every possible contingency, and - bam, presto, cars won't be allowed to have a transmission anymore.

    • by Zimluura (2543412)

      if i could only spend all my mod points on one post to turn your funny into an insightful.

  • by bziman (223162) on Thursday November 07, 2013 @06:00PM (#45361283) Homepage Journal

    Note that this isn't ALL trans fats, only synthetic trans fats made by hydrogenating vegetable oils. Naturally occurring trans fats that are present in lard, for example, are not going to be banned. I don't buy the sort of heavily processed products that include hydrogenated vegetable oils anyway, so I anticipate this change having no effect on me at all. But it might improve the health of people who live on processed foods and lower my insurance costs.

    • Are you sure, since I've seen foods that say 0% trans fats on the box, but list hydrogenated oils in their ingredients. And even the ingredients list can omit an ingredient if the quantity is low enough.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward

        O-Chem crash course: Fully hydrogenated fats ("saturated") have no C-C double bonds and therefore are neither trans nor cis. But partially hydrogenated fats ("unsaturated," with C-C double bonds) can either be trans or cis (since rotation around the double bond is hindered, substituents around double bonds can be arranged two different ways: trans and cis). Partially hydrogenated cis fats occur pretty regularly in nature, as do fully hydrogenated fats. But partially hydrogenated trans fats are actually

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Label them and let people decide for them fucking selves.
    I know most people around here need to have their hand held by big brother but I can read and I can decide. Fuck anyone else who can't.

    • The one thing that the left and right appear to agree on in the US is that most of the population is too stupid to survive without their lives being micromanaged by the state. The predominant difference seems to be that they disagree on whether a cull is a good idea...
    • Label them and let people decide for them fucking selves.

      That really only works if there are options to choose amongst. They already are labelled. I don't see a major "trans-fat" free line of dinners. Do you?

  • by Ambassador Kosh (18352) on Thursday November 07, 2013 @06:40PM (#45361793)

    There are some naturally occurring tranfs-fats that our bodies have enzymes to deal wit (like in milk) and those are no problem at all. The problem is with the artificial trans-fats. The issue is when there is a trans link where your body does not have an enzyme that can break that link. It leads to strange problems like malformed cholesterol (which you need to live) and ends up causing things like arterial damage and plaques.

    I do agree with the FDA dealing with foods that our bodies just can not process. This is not like alcohol where too much causes damage, our bodies can deal with smaller amounts of alcohol just fine and break it down. Some of these trans-fats we just have no natural way to break them down at all. As such they get stuck in places, have to be removed by other processes that don't always work, sometimes get incorporated into other things incorrectly etc.

    However it looks like the FDA is making the right choice. They seem to only be going after the types of trans-fats that our bodies can't process.

  • Ban the artificial bastards. Butter's better anyways.

  • by rjhubs (929158) on Thursday November 07, 2013 @07:12PM (#45362161)
    Is Twitter imposing some sort character limit on Slashdot? Is there not enough space for "With regards to"? WTFWAFFEL
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Next poll:
      I think WRT means:
      (a) with respect to
      (b) with regards to
      (c) with real tits
      (d) Watercress, Radish and Tomato [sandwich]

      I predict that: US votes for A and C, UK votes for B, C and D; C wins by plurality.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      ... who glanced at the question and was disappointed when "WRT" wasn't immediately followed by "54G"?

  • Just think of the revenue potential! This could be hotter than tobacco! :-)

  • by Dialecticus (1433989) on Thursday November 07, 2013 @09:33PM (#45363631)

    When you ban something, something else will inevitably replace it, and it may end up being worse than what you banned. What I've noticed is that when "partially hydrogenated" (i.e. trans-fats) vanishes from ingredients lists, it's usually replaced by "TBHQ", which is a preservative used to prevent fats from oxidizing. Partially hydrogenated fats are less prone to oxidizing, so when you remove that option they have to replace it with something else, and TBHQ seems to be the cheapest option.

    The problem is that TBHQ has its own down sides. Five grams of it is allegedly lethal, and some people can't tolerate even small amounts of it. I am one of them. When I eat even a small amount of food with TBHQ in it, I get panic attacks or worse. In one case my pulse went up to around 240. Since then I've had to be very careful to avoid anything with TBHQ in it, but all these anti-trans-fat extremists pushing regulations for my health don't take into account that they may be killing me by taking away the foods I can eat without winding up in an emergency room.

    In short, people know their own situation better than central planners do, and they may have personal issues that make the lack of trans-fats even worse than the presence of trans-fats. Regulating them institutes a form of tyranny of the majority. [] It's analogous to forcing someone with a peanut allergy to eat peanuts because they're so nutritious and because most people aren't allergic. Don't do that. Instead, just label foods accurately and let people make their own decisions.

    • +1 interesting. The reasons for the widespread use of hydrogenated oils aren't going to vanish because we ban trans-fats. Without an alternative, all the cookies and other processed preserved things we love will vanish. So in that scenario either people must choose to pay more and go to the resurgent local baker's every day, or else choose to go without (I chose this years ago). A simple minded ban on one small facet of the issue isn't going to help anything. It's like putting a rock in the middle of a rive
  • I'd be down for making it illegal, but they need to legalize pot.

  • Once upon a time in America [] (and Canada [] even more recently), margarine was outlawed. Or at least margarine colored yellow to look like butter looks when butter is colored yellow. Some states required no coloring, and there were places that margarine was required to be colored an unappetizing color like pink or blue. There were various work-arounds, including selling uncolored margarine with coloring included. Some pretty ingenious packaging resulted to simplify the process of coloring it at home.

    Yes, there

  • by mark-t (151149) <markt&lynx,bc,ca> on Saturday November 09, 2013 @03:30PM (#45378385) Journal

    Although my opinion lies most closely to requiring clear labels, I firmly believe that rather than banning it, there should simply be a hefty tax imposed on it by weight, so that foods which contain it will tend to cost more.

    People who would not be able to afford the tax would then tend to eat healthier, which would be the same outcome as if there were actually a ban in place, while the actual freedom to choose is not entirely removed from consumers.

    As a side effect, the tax can be used as a revenue stream to subsidize the costs of enforcing mandatory labeling on all applicable products.

    I'd rather have to pay a higher price for something I might want than not have the freedom to choose it in the first place.

There is one way to find out if a man is honest -- ask him. If he says "Yes" you know he is crooked. -- Groucho Marx


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