Print Columns   |   Web Chats   |   Blog Archives   |  

What Will MoCo Ban Next? Skeeters? Wind Chimes?

Montgomery County, where only county-run stores can be trusted to sell liquor and where the county has tossed smokers out of bars and restaurants, is now the first county in the nation to ban trans fats. The county council voted yesterday to prohibit restaurants, bakeries and delis from using the unhealthful fats in their cooking and food preparation.

Apparently oblivious to the fact that a trans fat ban in New York City is forcing some chefs there to abandon butter because it contains small amounts of natural trans fat, the nannies who run Montgomery County unanimously--yes, every single member of the council!--voted to take choices about what to eat away from consumers, cooks, and restaurant owners and place all authority in the hands of the bureaucrats.

Little did MoCo voters know when they went to the polls that they were electing Chefs-in-Chief. Never mind that naturally occurring trans fats may help prevent cancer, according to research at Cornell University. Never mind that some people may prefer to eat foods made with trans fats over foods made with high levels of saturated fat, such as palm and coconut oils. The county knows better.

It's fairly clear that trans fats are bad for you. And lots of food businesses are reacting to the widespread public opposition to trans fats by working on new recipes that eliminate or drastically reduce use of those oils. But a ban on trans fats--very much like the smoking ban, which utterly ignores the fact that the marketplace is effectively reducing smoking in public gathering spots as well as smoking behavior overall--elbows the natural forces of the marketplace out of the way. The result of the government fiat will be less satisfied customers, widespread hysteria, and a growing belief that only the Nanny State can protect us from ourselves.

There are some things Montgomery's ban-happy politicians might want to address. I would be pleased to see elected officials pass and enforce bans on mosquitos, cellphones in theaters and concert halls, public coughing fits, leafblowers, and that scourge of civilization, wind chimes.

Having completed its work on trans fats, the county council will be searching the universe for things to ban. Please help: What would you like to see MoCo tackle next?

By Marc Fisher |  May 16, 2007; 7:10 AM ET
Previous: Virginia Vs. NYC: Gun Wars | Next: Marion Barry's Wedge Issues: Class and Race

Comments

Please email us to report offensive comments.



You're kidding, right? Comparing a smoking ban with a trans-fat ban is like comparing apples and oranges. Smoking in public harms those who are not smoking. Smoking bans are necessary to prevent innocent bystanders from getting cancer and other diseases from second hand smoke. Non-smokers have a right to eat and drink in public places without their air being polluted by a completely unnecessary habit. Sorry you lose on this argument.

With regard to trans fat--while you have a point that perhaps the market should determine what gets sold, we are in a health crisis in this country and trans fat is a large contributor to this problem. Sure, the obesity epidemic is multifactorial, but it started in earnest when trans fats were introduced widely into our food supply. There is zero nutritional value, they lead to hyperlipidemia and "bad" fats in our system and therefore lead to heart attacks, strokes, death.... Also, trans fat is a relatively new dietary item---we seemed to do fine before it was put in everything we eat. So, even though this ban may seem to be a bit draconian, I'm not sure I'm against it. So go to PG Co. or VA to get your trans fat fix. Whoopee.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 16, 2007 7:42 AM

Guess they can't ban ILLEGALS, so they aim at what they can hit!

Posted by: RichieRich | May 16, 2007 7:47 AM

RichieRich is absolutely on the money. I am hispanic and I want the illegals out.

Posted by: nospinzone1 | May 16, 2007 8:12 AM

Ban voting...the people can not be trusted to decide for themselves

Posted by: Avoiding MoCo | May 16, 2007 8:12 AM

The first poster doesn't understand the free market argument against smoking bans. It is perfectly legal to walk down the street smoking so that exhaled smoke blows into the lungs of a non-smoker behind them, just as it's perfectly legal to pollute the air with your car or be a danger to the public as a drunk. If you want to make smoking illegal to protect the lives of all people then just say so. Otherwise, having some bars that allow smoking and cater to that crowd doesn't affect your choice to go to the many that don't allow it. Maybe even charge places for tobacco licenses to discourage it, but to ban it across the board is a step towards a nanny state. Soon Montgomery County will have red light cameras at every intersection and speed cameras on every street. They've already tried to squeeze out WalMart, my guess is McDonalds and Burger King are next. They, after all, do make people fat just like smoking does cause cancer and running red lights can cause accidents. It's bad, so let's ban it.

Posted by: xtr657 | May 16, 2007 8:16 AM

Just because some people can't control their caloric intake, doesn't mean I shouldn't be allowed the occasional order of greasy fries. We also know that excessive amounts of soda is bad for you. Will they ban Coke and Pepsi next? The "Health Nazis" seem to find support to ban anything as long as they frame it in the "cause" of fighting obesity.

Posted by: dgc | May 16, 2007 8:17 AM

I think the County will ban Pickup Trucks next.

Posted by: BR549 | May 16, 2007 8:23 AM

Montgomery County should ban Illegal aliens and Liberals next.

Posted by: TJ | May 16, 2007 8:25 AM

I can't believe that anyone would be surprised that the Politburo made this move. You got to wonder if the citizens of the county really are as socialist as their leaders...

Posted by: AustrianOak | May 16, 2007 8:29 AM

As was previously stated, ban illegal immigrants. But would also tack on an amendment to make sure that they wouldn't just cross the border into another county. Ship them back home!

Posted by: Hey, Hey, Hey, Goodbye! | May 16, 2007 8:29 AM

MC, where you can cut the trans fat out of people's diets but when someone tries to trim a small piece of fat from the bloated school budget the teachers union screams as if the 4 horseman of the Apocalypse were riding down Rockville Pike!

Posted by: Mount St Joseph HS | May 16, 2007 8:32 AM

They should ban bans on banning bans.

Posted by: JT | May 16, 2007 8:34 AM

The People's Republic of Montgomery County has spoken. Get in line with the rest of the sheep who continue to vote for council members who bring forth a big and intrusive government involving itself within your private lives. Kneel and genuflect towards Rockville so that all will bask in the glory of liberal socialist nannyism. Worry not about the county school budget short comings, the rampant out of control influx of illegal immigrants, the astronomical housing prices, and transportation nighmares that have beseiged Montgomery County for Ike Leggett and his merry band of nannys have banned the evil trans fat from our restaurants. All is now well in the suburbs.

Posted by: Orwell | May 16, 2007 8:34 AM

Lawn gnomes need to be banned. NOW. And Christmas lights must be banned beginning MLK Day and ending the weekend after Thanksgiving. Ooooh, and can we ban patchouli? That scent makes me gag.

Posted by: MoCo? NoCo | May 16, 2007 8:41 AM

I bought a new house in Montgomery County less than three years ago. I realized it was a mistake almost immediately. MOCO is not inviting to hard-working, independent minded, American families so we moved to another county and now happily reside back in the United States.

Posted by: geigs | May 16, 2007 8:44 AM

I agree, we should ban cell phones in theaters and concert halls.

Posted by: Reid | May 16, 2007 8:46 AM

Wow, lots of angry people here in MC.

I think those of you who call this county a "socialist state" need to be willing to not take ANY aid for your healthcare if it is somehow related to bad eating habits or smoking. So go to your smokey bars, eat McDonalds until you're so fat you can't move, but don't expect us to pay for your diabetes care, your coronary surgeries, your nursing home care or anything else related.

Our public officials job is to protect the public. So smoking bans are important in protecting us all. Those of us who don't want to inhale toxins shouldn't have to go door to door at restaurants to find a place that bans smoking. And yes, we also need to put limits on car emissions and companies that pollute our air. Sorry, but you don't have the freedom to ruin the environment for the rest of the country so you can smoke.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 16, 2007 8:52 AM

Freedom...ban it. Why do you need it in Montgomery County anyway?

Posted by: Fidel | May 16, 2007 8:54 AM

Unprotected sex. They'll probably try to ban sex without condoms. It's what's best for us, don't you know.

Posted by: G | May 16, 2007 8:54 AM

I forgot, they'll also limit condom sales to county liquor stores.

Posted by: G | May 16, 2007 8:55 AM

If they're going to be complete killjoys, just ban high fructose corn syrup and get it over with.

Posted by: MB | May 16, 2007 8:57 AM

... and grade schools.

Posted by: G | May 16, 2007 8:58 AM

Ban Dunkin Doughnuts. Ban Krispy Kreme. Ban Godiva Chocolates. Ban the 7-11s.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 16, 2007 8:58 AM

To those who applaud the rather dismissive and condescending comments of the first poster here, I have this in response. You wish to eat healthy. Fine. You wish to avoid smoking. Fine. That is your choice. It should be the consumer and business owner's choice to eliminate things such as smoking, trans fats or other things deemed unacceptable or unhealthy. As an adult, I am expected to be responsible for my own choices and actions. I do not need nor do I wish for the "Nanny" of Montgomery County to meddle in my personal life and choices. Today it is trans fat. You mark my words, on some not too distant day it will be sugar because that causes diabetes. Then it will be white flour as that can lead to weight gain and has no nutritional value. Then it will be salt because that raises blood pressure. Consumers and citizens should be educated, informed, guided and encouraged to make healthier choices. As I've seen with dieting and other life changes, it must come from within and not from without to be truly successful and effective. Legislating this is simply not the answer.

Posted by: Michael | May 16, 2007 9:01 AM

Only one child born per household for the next five years!

Posted by: Tao | May 16, 2007 9:03 AM

Ban English class in schools. It is discriminatory to the illegal aliens.

Posted by: SoMD | May 16, 2007 9:05 AM

Maybe they should tackle a real issue like GM foods, and hormone injected anti-biotic ladended beef. Can we cut the crap, informed choice, I know a radical idea which assumes true choice, wait don't laugh, and freedom of _choice. How have we strayed so far.

Posted by: john thoel | May 16, 2007 9:06 AM

I'm going to have a loaded steak and cheese sub for lunch, if it's ok with Mr. Leggett. I think I'll leave off the lettuce and tomatoe though.

Posted by: Extra mayo | May 16, 2007 9:07 AM

Wow, this is an incredible article, and I cant believe it is even a problem. I can see why it's a good thing to ban, but if people wat to die early, let 'em. However due to the fact that the people voted for a board of chefs I have no real objections, people will learn how to cook w/ out trans fats and have the same quality of cooking somehow. I guess voters should read into what they vote for, even sub-titles because there is so much "pork" in everything we vote for that it causes things like bridges to nowhere, random pointless political events,...and the ban of trans fats. I wonder if there is any trans fat in "pork"?

Posted by: ASWCACC | May 16, 2007 9:12 AM

Having worked with the MoCo planning board a while back I can tell you MoCo is full of the most elite and self=important snobs you'll ever find. Sit in on a meeting with homeownwers associations and you'll see what I mean. These people are control freaks. They have rules about what color drapes you can hang in your front window. What kind of cars can be in your driveway. We had frustrated decorators on the Board -- Kensington should be Victorian, Silver Spring should be Art Deco, Rockville should be small town America, Bethesda is Yuppie heaven. Every new office building had to have a water feature and landscaped ornamental trees. Jeez. We even had one who bought a house next to a park with a public hiking trail and he didn't want people walking ON HIS HIKING TRAIL! Then we had the ones who bought near Suburban Hospital and complained about the ambulance sirens and medevac helicoptors. Heavens! It wakes up their napping toddlers!

Why can't they ban elitist snobs and turn it into a big park/wildlife preserve? It has turned into the armpit of the State.

Posted by: Southern Maryland | May 16, 2007 9:16 AM

Hey - sure ban the illegals. Then make all the fat white folks wash their own dishes at the fancy restaurants who don't use butter. Makes sense to me! Who do you people think does the ACTUAL work in this country? The next time you whine about illegals look at who is mowing your yard, building your house, changing your tire, cooking your food, bussing your table. You don't think your 5 fat spoiled kids are going to do any of that do you?
And yes I'm an illegal alien - my ancestors came over on the Mayflower.

Posted by: Mayflower Illegal Immigrant | May 16, 2007 9:18 AM

Adults are expected to be responsible for their own choices and actions. But adults who smoke have shown that they are irresponsible and therefore can legitimately be treated like children. A trans fat ban was only necessary because a large part of the population are unable to learn about nutrition or simply do not care. These people who eat and smoke themselves to death while driving up insurance rates do not act like adults. Montgomery County made the right choice: treat children like children. Some people need a nanny state.

Posted by: Al | May 16, 2007 9:18 AM

I agree with the windchime ban! They are a symbol of everything cheerful and wrong in this world!

Posted by: justme | May 16, 2007 9:19 AM

I agree with the windchime ban! They are a symbol of everything cheerful and wrong in this world!

Posted by: justme | May 16, 2007 9:19 AM

They will probably ban articles such as this as it is not in their thinking. Watch out they could ban you using your computer or any computer because it could or could not lead to free thinking which could or could not lead to making the decision yourself which would / or would not have them voted out of office - which will probably be banned.

Posted by: David | May 16, 2007 9:20 AM

They are skirting around the real issue: ban being fat which would FORCE people to take a look at their crazy levels of food consumption and lack of exercise instead of what they eat as being the root of obesity.

Classic American mentality: blame your woes on everyone else except yourselves.

Posted by: Chris | May 16, 2007 9:24 AM

Hey Mayflower, get out of my country. We don't need you

Posted by: linda | May 16, 2007 9:26 AM

Irony in new stories.

Posted by: Matt | May 16, 2007 9:27 AM

Not everything that is immoral should be illegal (just as not everything that's illegal, such as turning right on red at certain intersections, is inherently immoral). Of course, there is overlap - many things are both illegal and immoral (such as murder, rape, burglary, etc.). But we don't have to have a law against everything that's a bad idea, or even an evil idea.

As a society, we've thoroughly dropped the idea that things that are traditionally considered immoral should be outlawed (such as adultery, pornography, abortion, prostitution, etc.).

But while we celebrate our tolerance in these areas, we're rapidly creating a new, even more rigid morality around health habits and political correctness.

This makes no sense. If the state has no right to speak to things that could completely ruin my life and the life of my family, such as my cheating on my wife, it is absolutely insane for it to get involved in my choice of breakfast foods (trans-fat laden doughnut versus low-fat granola bar).

My personal belief is that we are exchanging tough morality for an easy morality that makes us feel good about ourselves based on what we buy and what we eat. It's a fraud.

Posted by: Demos | May 16, 2007 9:27 AM

Please ban wind chimes. Then I can get rid of my neighbor and her chimes of 10,000 notes, all of them off key

Posted by: Anonymous | May 16, 2007 9:29 AM

What's wrong with a nanny state? At least you can kick them out of office if you don't like what they're doing. Better a nanny state than a nanny corporation. As for the marketplace, who do you think controls it? If you think you're in control or that the marketplace is the ultimate panacea, you must not have bought gas lately.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 16, 2007 9:31 AM

I'm glad the council has closed the debate on the much needed trans-fat issue that has divided the county for years. MAYBE THEY CAN WORK ON TRAFFIC ISSUES NOW??!?!?!?!

By the way, gangs will be selling illegal trans-fat french fries now.

Posted by: Stuck on Wisconsin Ave | May 16, 2007 9:32 AM

The market can effectively police unhealthful practices without the need for bans - providing the market is honest about what it is selling.

Problem is, the market has cooked its own goose. The free market has not been honest about the risks of smoking, and it is not honest about food ingredients. Companies recognize that people don't like high fructose corn syrup and trans fats, so they respond - by working to label high fructose corn syrup "sugar", and by labeling foods as "Trans-fat Free!*" (*-portions divided into microscopic units, so that trans fats don't show up as significant.)

Add to this the fact that the market didn't even start to react until bans were threatened.

People, if you want the market to decide, then you must start to demand better of the marketers, instead of bleating like sheep about bans....

Posted by: Voice of Reason | May 16, 2007 9:33 AM

"You don't think your 5 fat spoiled kids are going to do any of that do you?"

Flip side. I have two teenagers who're looking for summer jobs: restaurants, garden centers, farms. No luck so far - all the jobs are taken by immigrants. (Of course, I don't know what percentage are documented - employers don't ask.)

Posted by: Anonymous | May 16, 2007 9:33 AM

How does an article on Trans fat lead to rants on immigrants. Focusing on trans fats what is of biological importance is the stabilization process of making a natural fat into a more stable trans fat. Electronic rearrangement of the hydrogen atoms in it during this process changes the composition of it and so its metabolisim in the body. Instead of a ban I believe in transparency which fats are manipulated and which are not thats all. The fat consumer should decide which to eat.

Posted by: Real American Citizen | May 16, 2007 9:37 AM

Ok, the issue here is not smoking, not illegal immigrants, not anything but what it it - eating "unhealthy" foods. A person (in the United States) has the right to do pretty much anything in the world they can think to do, so long as their rights do not infringe upon the rights of another person. For instance, I have the right to swing my arms about wildly in public. However, my right ends where my fist meets another persons face. Its their right NOT to be hit in the face. When a persons' choices become hazardous to another person, they should then be curtailed. It may be argued that a persons obesity may harm their children's upbringing, or marriage, or whatever, but the straight of it is, it is their bodies and it is their life. let the get bloody glutton get fat and die early. Not every one has a self-control problem.

Posted by: Hiya | May 16, 2007 9:37 AM

Recently moved from MD to TX, but I never lose my sense of absolute bewilderment at the gall of these petty politico/ bureaucrats and their desire to control the population. Polictical instability is in our future with this nasty trend. Hey Marylanders continuously and repeatedly voted for Sarbanes, Mukuski, and that dreadful pipsqueak Miller so what would you expect out of Montgomery County...don't worry my Leftist "5th Column-fellow travelers," such trends are even making its way into the "fly over" country of Texas.

Ft Worth

Posted by: Russ | May 16, 2007 9:38 AM

Voice,

When did we decide that "unhealthful habits" needed "policing?" That seems to be your key presupposition - and it's one that should be rejected by a free people. Truth in advertising? Absolutely. Good labeling standards? Absolutely.

But "freedom" means that we are each able to decide how we will live our lives, on our own, without government interference. Of course, freedom cannot be absolute - I have no right to murder you, rape you, or rob you. But every time we take choices away (everyday choices, in this instance), we are giving away some of our freedom.

My forefathers were willing to die for freedom. Now you want to tell me I can't clog an artery for it?

Posted by: Demos | May 16, 2007 9:42 AM

First, comparing MC bans on smoking or other issues to the issue of trans fatty acids is a thinly obscured ad hominen attack. This opinion piece appears to direct itself toward spreading fear, uncertainty and dread (FUD) regarding this particular government action without concern for any of the underlying issues that have caused several communities to make similar decisions.

The question we should address, is do we want trans fatty acids in our diets or not, and if not, are they significant enough to warrant regulation by our government. I have read a bit on this, and I would say yes. They are significant with regards to our health, because they have been found dangerous in any amount (is that hard to understand?). Because of this point, I do want them banned. Yes, they are more dangerous than other fats and oils (including butter and other saturated fats like palm oil). I want the ban because I want my health safe guarded, and I cannot do this alone without help from my fellow citizens, ie. government intervention. Others will have whatever opinion, but encourage them to look into the safety issues of trans-fats, something this opinion piece discourages with FUD, before making up their minds.

Posted by: DWN | May 16, 2007 9:42 AM

here here

Posted by: hiya | May 16, 2007 9:45 AM

How sad all the immigrants are taking away all the menial sub-living wage jobs. What can you do except eat trans fat donuts. MoCo should ban GED elitist's.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 16, 2007 9:45 AM

Posted by DWN: " I do want them banned. Yes, they are more dangerous than other fats and oils (including butter and other saturated fats like palm oil). I want the ban because I want my health safe guarded, and I cannot do this alone without help from my fellow citizens, ie. government intervention."

You see the above, its people like this that would have worked for the Stazzi (phonetic)...these people are the 'danger'-not the eating of a donut that might, might hurt your health 30, 40, or 50 years down the road...that is Not a dangerous activity, merely Not the healthiest. God help us.

Fort Worth

Posted by: Russ | May 16, 2007 9:51 AM

DWII
thats fine to want to be safe, but trans fat has also been found to been the human body as well. If we took everything out of our lives that harmed us, we would be in huge trouble. If you really are that concerned about the harms of trans fat, then instead of relieveing everyone the right of eating it, take on a campaign of informing everyone of the cons AND pros of trans fat and then letting them make that choice for themselves. Yhere is very little in your life right now that is not causing harm to some extent, and it is unreasonable that we should expect you to immediately stop using them all.

Posted by: hiya | May 16, 2007 9:51 AM

God, if you white trash idiots want your digusting foods laden with trans fat go to freaking Virginia. I'm glad Montgomery County has taken the intiative to ban trans fat, which have been proven neither beneficial or necessary to your health.
Trans fat are the leading cause of coronary heart disease, something that can kill many of us.

It's easy to see the trans fat content when you buy products from the store, however; it's a whole different story when you eat in restuarants. I'm glad that I can now eat in restaurants knowing that trans fats have not been used.

Posted by: TrippingJay | May 16, 2007 9:52 AM

white trash, huh? thats a snappy come back for someone without an argument. heres a thought, dont eat out. cook. If your so worried about unhealthy foods, I would R_E_A_L_L_Y suggest that you not eat out.

Posted by: hiya | May 16, 2007 9:56 AM

"The question we should address, is do we want trans fatty acids in our diets or not, and if not, are they significant enough to warrant regulation by our government."

DWN, we're arguing about this because we don't all agree that this is the question - I certainly don't.

As an individual citizen, the question is not "do I want trans-fats in my diet," it's "is it the role of my county government to tell me what I can or cannot eat?"

For me, the answer to the first question is "no, probably not (though I do dearly love the doughnuts)" - the answer to the second is a resounding "NO, ABSOLUTELY NOT."

Talking about the health hazards of trans-fats won't change my answer to the second question, because that's not the issue - it's a question of the appropriate role of government, not the most appropriate food choices for me to make the next time I hit the grocery store.

Posted by: Demos | May 16, 2007 9:57 AM

Are you people serious? Do you honestly believe the next step from a (legitimate) public health ban is a ban on free thought, or whatever other nonsense you conjured up? Voice of Reason is 100% right; you are so busy railing against the "Nanny State" (singing in a chorus of "individualism", you probably believe), that you blindly assume that the market will take care of everything. It's totally absurd. Free markets are great, but profit is always the bottom line (as it should be). If that means dumping unhealthy, unnecessary-- but CHEAPER-- oils into your food, they'll do it, and then try to make it sound okay. The County Council is power-hungry? Maybe. But the private sector wants your money and they DO NOT care about you personally - it's not their job. And stop whining about French fries! They'll still be here; they'll still be fried, and they'll even TASTE THE SAME. They'll just be fried in a slightly different oil - one that won't kill you prematurely. Everybody wins; even you, even though you don't like it!

Posted by: John R. | May 16, 2007 9:57 AM

No one can stop trans fat in the food. Is there going to be trans fat police? What do you do about trans fat in milk? Is skim milk the only legal one now. Maybe MoCo is making new jobs for those who lost them to immigrants. Trans Police or TP's for short. Will immigrants start smuggling whole milk products ILLEGALLY? Back to immigration if you lose your job to an immigrant who doesnt speak the language how productive were you really? I have to get back to work before I lose it overseas. MoCo should ban job losing!!

Posted by: Real American Citizen | May 16, 2007 9:58 AM

Trans fats can be passed through the placenta and through mothers milk. Start arresting nursing mothers and mothers to be for child endangerment after they eat some chips.

Ingesting excessive trans fats leads to shortened life expectancy. We should encourage this, because it helps the long term outlook for Social Security.

Posted by: Lawrence | May 16, 2007 10:01 AM

I love this. My wife and I had so many discussions over the smoking ban and I kept telling her that to make it legislative is pushing us down a slippery slope and here we go........next will be a higher tax on pizza deliveries, fast food, and anything else that the blowhards in power deem necessary while we all stand here going, "how did this happen?" Anyone ever see "Demolition Man"?? The above ground society in that movie is where we are headed.

Posted by: Ryan | May 16, 2007 10:02 AM

white trash idiots, huh? I just can't believe that an upper-crust MoCo snot would even lower himself to type those words. Oh course you are too good to cook for yourself. That's why there are lower class people out there to do your bidding. Heaven forbid your bidet would ever stop working.

Posted by: Fred | May 16, 2007 10:03 AM

Ban flicking cigarette butts out of cars windows. In fact, if you wnt to smoke while driving, keep your windows up so I don't have to smell your nasty smoke. BTW, why do people who smokes while driving always hold their lit cigarettes outside of the window? Keep the things inside the vehicle so you can enjoy even more of that aroma.

Posted by: wb | May 16, 2007 10:13 AM

They can ban trans fat but we can't seem to keep stuff like E coli from getting in our food sources. I'm moved from Maryland 25 years ago to FL and I can't fathom what a wimp liberal state it's become. When China finally takes over the US Maryland and San Francisco will be the first to hand out Mao's little red book.

Posted by: FLvet | May 16, 2007 10:14 AM

I think Montgomery County should ban Montgomery County under the pretext that it is an unsightly suburb in Maryland--of all places. Bad things should be banned. Its all those hippies in Takoma Park, isn't it?

Posted by: brandonesque | May 16, 2007 10:16 AM

"The Cold Splash of Reality, With A Side of Sizzle?" Please. How about a dash of dumbness with a side of stupidity.

How about a ban on idiotic columns like this, that get the fools all worked up over nothing. So what restaurants can't use trans fat! Its not good for you anyway.

Posted by: clark | May 16, 2007 10:16 AM

Smoking should be banned on sidewalks. Car exhaust has no poison.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 16, 2007 10:17 AM

Another point- your arguments about the slippery slope (presumably to a police state, as some of you seem to believe - which is highly insulting to people who have lived through REAL dictatorships) are totally baseless. This was the decision of a unanimous council. Don't like it? Take your own suggestion for "information campaigns" to the people of MC, and tell them how their rights have been rescinded by a crazed Nanny. You know perfectly well that most people there will look at you like you're crazy, and then politely tell you they support the ban. MC voters have returned countless councils to office with nannying tendancies. That's the culture of the place. Scream and cry about it, but it's full of engaged, educated rich people who can be snobby, but are also uninterested in subsidizing your health care if you insist on stuffing your piehole with french fries and cigarettes. I'm sure that if the County deploys the "Health Nazis" (another insulting allusion), the voters will vote the Council out of office. In the meantime, accept that you're in the minority there, or move to Fort Worth. And I personally don't have time to exhaustively research every public issue. That is the point of representative democracy (which is the American kind): you elect representatives whose job it is study these things accurately enough to come to an informed decision. I doubt any of you moaning about your fries have done any real research on this.

Posted by: John R. | May 16, 2007 10:18 AM

Wow! Lots of emotions on this issue. The fact is that MoCo probably will always be the county that acts first on such sad facts like America's continued health decline and obesity epidemic. MoCo has been this way for over 20 years and it is why many folks flock there and want to move there. In America, you can choose where you like, if you don't like the way MoCo is...live somewhere else, or live there and buy your heart-clogging foods somewhere else as I plan to do. MoCo is a great place even if you don't agree with all their rules...they are good rules...just not easy for all of us humans to follow every day. Still I salute the effort.

Posted by: Taxpayer Survivor | May 16, 2007 10:18 AM

The next thing Montgomery County should ban is discrimination on the basis of gender identity or expression in housing, employment, and public accomodations. A similar law failed to pass the Maryland state legislature this year.

Posted by: Arthur | May 16, 2007 10:19 AM

I'm racist like everyone who's posting about "illegals" on this blog. I think all of us racists should get together and go back to Nazi Germany. Oh wait, it doesn't exist any more. I just want to live with my fellow whites. Is that too much to ask? Oh wait, this is the 21st century. Oops, I forgot that I too am not a "native" American. Oh, this is all just too confusing!

We racists have the right to eat whatever we want and smoke wherever we want. Who cares if the taxpayer has to pay for my lung cancer care or my coronary bypass? I have the right to fall for the advertising machines of the food and tobacco industries and have you pay for it! This is America and like the prelude to the fall of the Roman Empire, we have the right to party like it's 1999! Oh wait, it's 2007...

Posted by: Suburban1 | May 16, 2007 10:19 AM

What I find even more appalling than the ban are the supporters who act as if someone else's choice to eat something unhealthy is a personal affront, or is indication that the person is stupid or ignorant, as if happiness on earth will only occur when every single individual is living a perfectly clean, pure, healthy life.
Demos, thanks for your great points.

Posted by: W | May 16, 2007 10:19 AM

Another essentially unenforcable law so that it looks like big Gov't is accomplishing something.

Bread and circuses

Posted by: Dutch | May 16, 2007 10:21 AM

Ban bowties being worn with suspenders. We must protect these people from themselves.

Posted by: Rabid Rabbit | May 16, 2007 10:22 AM

Seriously, how do we enforce this ban. Are resturants going to submit the ingredients of the items they server? Is someone going to randomly test menu items for trans-fat? Who will enforce this?

I've got an idea. How about we ban throwing trash out of your car on 270 and other MoCo roads... oh... wait we already do. So why is there trash everywhere you look? So much trash that we don't even see it any more. And who is throwing this trash on the roads? What kind of citizen has such little disregard for their surroundings?

The point being. We have other problems. Trans-fat may be a problem but this sounds like a media farse. Why can't we have leaders who are more interested in making small but vital improvements? Why take on nebulous issues like Trans-Fat. We spend a lot of money on MoCo in taxes. And we have important current infrastrucure that needs those resources. Spending any resources on this trans-fat issue is folly.

Posted by: Shawn | May 16, 2007 10:22 AM

Hey John R you forgot to add "You can move here as long as you are rich and a Democrat."

Posted by: FLvet | May 16, 2007 10:22 AM

Ban food from China. The labeling could be wrong and the FDA does not test enough.
Ban food that contains melamine even tho the FDA says no one has yet died from contaminated pork and chicken

Posted by: , | May 16, 2007 10:23 AM

Trans fat in most cases is a very unhealthy presevative added to foods to make them last longer on the shelf. They do exist in some foods in extremely small amounts that can hardly be detected. In Denmark where trans fats were banned as a food additive and preservative there was an almost immediate drop in the number of cases of heart disease. There are plenty of much healthier alternatives so banning them should not be that difficult for business. Unfortunately some businesses do not want to adapt to change even though it amounts to minor inconvenience and is in the best interest of public health.

Posted by: Peter | May 16, 2007 10:26 AM

Montgomery County is a conservative county compared to PG, Baltimore, Arlington, etc. Everyone on my parents' block were republicans and Connie Morella was their representative. Anyone saying otherwise just doesn't get it.

Posted by: DCer | May 16, 2007 10:27 AM

I like eating food cooked in trans fat. I think the better solution if it is a health concern is to label it as such. And it is not as if now suddenly by banning trans fat, we can eat at Mcdonald's without fear of hurting our health. By emphasizing the risks of trans fat, we have de-emphasized the similar risk associated with cooking in other oils.

And I don't remember hearing anything about this issue during the election last year, and that is outrageous. Phil Andrews will not be getting my vote next election (not that it probably matters). If this was on the agenda, voters should have been informed.

I think we live in America, and we ought to have the freedom to do things that don't impinge on the freedoms of others. And trans fat fits that definition in spades. Why do you care if I eat trans fat? Why do you care if I live an unhealthy lifestyle? It's none of your damn business. I pay for health insurance, so I am no burden on the county or the health system. To the extent people are a burden on the health system, so what? We all die some day of something and are a burden on the health care system. If someone dies at age 50 from heart disease, aren't they less of a burden on the county than had they died at age 99? I know it is a morbid thought, and I certainly don't want anyone to die prematurely, but I am only suggesting that people are mistaken when they think that folks that smoke and have poor eating habits are costing everyone else money. I don't think that's true.

I don't want to live to 100, eating raw and boiled vegetables and grilled fish and chicken. I want to eat food with flavor and texture. I want variety. I want fat. I want trans fat. And guess what? My Body Mass Index is 23.1, which is normal. And my cholesterol and BP is normal. And I'm in my thirties. So apparently trans fat is only a risk to some people, and I'm not one of them.

I'm not advocating bringing back lawn darts, making it legal to ride without a seat belt, or no longer requiring child seats, or allowing Happy Fun Ball to be sold here. I'm just talking about letting me eat what I want to eat at a restaurant.

Posted by: John | May 16, 2007 10:27 AM

>>Montgomery County . . . has tossed smokers out of bars

Oh, good grief. This shows your bias. Smokers haven't been tossed out of bars; they are as welcome as anyone else, whether dog-owners, music lovers or gun afficionadoes--they simply can't indulge in their favored activity there.

Stop listening to tobacco industry propaganda and parroting its pre-packaged sound bytes. Grow up.

Posted by: Gene | May 16, 2007 10:29 AM

I like eating food cooked in trans fat.
---------
oh you don't even know, who are you trying to kid! a totally unbelievable statement. Trans-fats are the fats without flavor. I don't know any chefs who wouldn't prefer to use real oils like Olive or Peanut, and I mean you fry chicken in anything but peanut oil and it tastes lame. please, after that "I like trans-fat" bs line, your whole argument is suspect.

Posted by: DCer | May 16, 2007 10:31 AM

I sold my condo in Bethesda and moved to Kentucky to escape all the silliness and stupidity that seems to shroud everything in Montgomery County/DC Metro. A sad rat race, led by a parade of headless chickens...

Posted by: J2K | May 16, 2007 10:32 AM

Hey John R. That's right...to question MC Politburo is to be either stupid, uneducated, or most likely mentally troubled...a tactic oft use by the Left everywhere...CCCP (FRSU), Castro, or your newest political lover Hugo Chavez, not to mention your heros closer to home...like I'm sure Al Sharpton, Jessie J, Cythnia McKinney, Barbara Boxer, Peter Stark, Michael Moore to name just a few. I am cock sure you like everyone on the list... you and those of your ilk.

Posted by: Russ | May 16, 2007 10:34 AM

I like eating food cooked in trans fat.
---------
oh you don't even know, who are you trying to kid! a totally unbelievable statement.

------------

Look, just because you eat at snobby restaurants that turn their nose up at trans fat and only cook in olive oil, doesn't mean the rest of us do. Do you ever even eat at McDonald's? My mother cooked in trans fat. My wife cooks with it. And I like it. And there is a difference.

Have you ever had Five Guys fries? They're made in peanut oil and they suck.

Don't tell me what foods I like and don't like. I am capable of making that decision on my own without you or the county deciding for me.

Posted by: John | May 16, 2007 10:36 AM

To those who applaud the rather dismissive and condescending comments of the first poster here, I have this in response. You wish to wear clothes. Fine. You wish to avoid crack cocaine. Fine. That is your choice. It should be the consumer and business owner's choice to eliminate things such as nudity, crack or other things deemed unacceptable or unhealthy. As an adult, I am expected to be responsible for my own choices and actions. I do not need nor do I wish for the "Nanny" of Montgomery County to meddle in my personal life and choices. Today it is drugs. You mark my words, on some not too distant day it will be sugar because that causes diabetes. Then it will be white flour as that can lead to weight gain and has no nutritional value. Then it will be salt because that raises blood pressure. Consumers and citizens should be educated, informed, guided and encouraged to make healthier choices. As I've seen with dieting and other life changes, it must come from within and not from without to be truly successful and effective. Legislating this is simply not the answer.

Posted by: kjb | May 16, 2007 10:37 AM

The hostility coming from the right on this is way out of line with the reality of trans-fats. People who aren't chefs, aren't doctors or nutritionists, or in general don't have a clue what's at stake here:
the lamest, dullest, most tasteless, lowest quality fats are being banned because eating even small amounts of them will increase your risk of heart attacks seriously. If anyone tells me again that real butter from cattle born and bred in the USA doesn't taste as good as foreign trans-fats created in a third-world factory, they can go move there. I support US family farms and I consume the products they create. period.

Posted by: DCer | May 16, 2007 10:40 AM

Though I'm generally anti-banning, if they are going to ban things, how about televised poker? Televised poker is a passive and mentally-unchallenging activity which takes up valuable time that could be used to actually play poker, which teaches important mathematical and interpersonal skills.

Posted by: quaker | May 16, 2007 10:40 AM

Congrats Mark on using common sense for once

now will you ever say anything nice about Republicans

oh wait thats asking too much

Posted by: Happy in VA | May 16, 2007 10:40 AM

To dgc : This isn't about obesity. Trans fat is poison... so I expect you'd like to dissolve the FDA and let people sell you any chemical concoction they wanted to? Americans can maintain their lard butts without benefit of Trans fat.

Posted by: JBWolf | May 16, 2007 10:40 AM

Once again we see Fisher's hypocrisy. He's okay with government banning guns, because they're dangerous and life-threatening, but doesn't want MoCo to ban trans-fat, which is also dangerous and life-threatening. And before everyone starts with the "I've never seen someone kill someone else with a cruller", stop and understand that what we're talking about is the proverbial "slippery slope." Once you tell the state that it's okay to infringe on one constitutional right (to bear arms), you're basically admitting that it's okay to limit others (pursuit of happiness).

Unless, like Fisher, you're a hypocrite and believe that it's okay for the state to limit constitutional rights as long as they aren't rights that you personally want to exercise.

Posted by: Huh? | May 16, 2007 10:40 AM

Ever heard of personal responsibility and consequences

Oh thats right you need the government to think for you

Posted by: To JB Wolf | May 16, 2007 10:41 AM

Have you ever had Five Guys fries? They're made in peanut oil and they suck.
-------
ha! you have exposed yourself for who you are! ignorance is not a virtue.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 16, 2007 10:42 AM

That would require Mark to support a Republican position

Aint gonna happen

You have to remember this is the Washington Post

Posted by: To Huh | May 16, 2007 10:43 AM

to quaker: ALL television is "passive and mentally-unchallenging". It's almost as bad for you as trans fat. Let us all remember Will Rodgers take on the one-eyed box...
"Chewing gum for the eyes."

Posted by: JBWolf | May 16, 2007 10:43 AM

To dgc : This isn't about obesity. Trans fat is poison... so I expect you'd like to dissolve the FDA and let people sell you any chemical concoction they wanted to? Americans can maintain their lard butts without benefit of Trans fat.

to quaker: ALL television is "passive and mentally-unchallenging". It's almost as bad for you as trans fat. Let us all remember Will Rodgers take on the one-eyed box...
"Chewing gum for the eyes."

Posted by: Anonymous | May 16, 2007 10:45 AM

To dgc : This isn't about obesity. Trans fat is poison... so I expect you'd like to dissolve the FDA and let people sell you any chemical concoction they wanted to? Americans can maintain their lard butts without benefit of Trans fat.

to quaker: ALL television is "passive and mentally-unchallenging". It's almost as bad for you as trans fat. Let us all remember Will Rodgers take on the one-eyed box...
"Chewing gum for the eyes."

Posted by: JBWolf | May 16, 2007 10:45 AM

"I fully endorse the rights of unscrupulous corporations and restaurants to pump my viens with poison that my body can't properly metabolize. Hell, if they can save a few bucks at the risk of my health and anybody else who doesn't know any better, that's a plus!"

Man, you people whinning about MC being a nanny state are a bunch of insecure, halfwit, BABYS, threatened by anybody who wants to sit in your playpen... go choke yourselfs! Have at it! Hell, I really enjoy my tax dollars paying your healthcare expenses as you stuff your fat, greasy, wingnut gullets with Crisco. It's a fascinating sociobiology experiment, really.


Posted by: YEAH! | May 16, 2007 10:46 AM

I really don't see what the big deal is here. It's only a ban on certain oils, which regardless of how you feel about the ban, is detrimental to your health. Plus, if you read the article it does contain some exceptions, and still allows foods with a small amount of trans fat.

I can see how people may feel it's an enroachment on their personal freedoms, but really, how many of you will even notice the difference?

Posted by: Lincolnshire | May 16, 2007 10:47 AM

My guess is that next the council will find it irresistible to ban incandescent light bulbs. ...THAT will be fun to watch.

Even some of the Volvo-driving latte-sippers are going to choke on that inanity.

Posted by: gitarre | May 16, 2007 10:47 AM

I really don't see what the big deal is here. It's only a ban on certain oils, which regardless of how you feel about the ban, is detrimental to your health. Plus, if you read the article it does contain some exceptions, and still allows foods with a small amount of trans fat.

I can see how people may feel it's an enroachment on their personal freedoms, but really, how many of you will even notice the difference?

Posted by: Lincolnshire | May 16, 2007 10:47 AM

It's really exciting to see the ultra liberal nannies take up the challenge of looking out for the world at large, including those of us who are more conservative. The post, which calls people who choose to smoke or engage in other risky behavior, as "irresponsible children" is just one more example of our social freedoms being stripped away piecemeal. BTW saying that the marketplace is flawed disrespects everyone including yourselves. The marketplace is simply a term used to describe the choices the public makes as demonstrated by their buying habits. This country was founded on the belief that individuals should be able to make their own decisions and not regulated by some governing body beit a king, dictator, or some over-paternalistic board in MoCo. If you dont like transfats in your diet, then seek out places where transfats are not used. If enough people do this, then some enterprising restauranteur will open an eatery that promotes a more healthy menu. You will probably pay more for your meal but that is what a free marketplace is all about. Don't try to force your narrow minded morality down my throat and I won't argue that you need to give up your gas guzzling SUV and move into the upper story of your healthfood store so as to reduce our dependance on foreign oil. Don't forget that the pursuit of happiness is one of our inalienable rights and right now a deep fried tenderloin sandwich with mayo and fried mushrooms is sounding pretty good to me. Try that with tofu.

Posted by: Econ Major in NC | May 16, 2007 10:48 AM

What a bunch of Sheep.

Banning transfats wont help anything nor will banning smoking.

Better to keep the jackboots on the LEGAL residents of the USA rather then deport the illegals.

Posted by: Noto | May 16, 2007 10:49 AM

Good points and good senses of humor out here today. However, this is not really about wanting to live forever or the taste of trans-fats. This stuff clogs your arteries and causes strokes - fact. If you know stroke survivors, ask them if they would change anything to prevent that pain and sometimes permanent damage. Everyone will always eat what they like, but businesses will always use the least expensive ingredients to sell their products. Cheap trans-fat laden cooking oils are just such ingredients. When fast food joints stopped frying in lard 20 years ago - everyone thought the food would not appeal...yet we all still love McDonalds fries. One of the reasons for good government is to ensure public safety and that is what MoCo is chasing here. It won't be painless...as I can attest, but the move just might save some lives and prevent some debilitating strokes. Is that not important? Lets not be afraid to move ahead. We can't keep falling behind these other countries...we used to lead the way.

Posted by: Taxpayer Survivor | May 16, 2007 10:51 AM

Next, of course, we'll start hearing MoCo complaining about criminals running transfats in from Virginia. Perhaps the county will run stings at KFCs in Arlington.

Posted by: Tom T. | May 16, 2007 10:52 AM

In a perfect world, I would like the health system to be set up so that everyone has equal access to health information, the money to spend on smart food choices, and access to affordable medical care, whether through private insurance, public insurance, or through a redesign of the system itself.

This is clearly not the case. People complain about elitism and don't realize how they are being elite towards other people that do NOT have the same access to the health system and information and financing that they have.

Therefore, in the interest of my tax dollars, it seems to me to be much less costly to ban trans-fats than it is to have tax dollars go towards health procedures that could have been prevented if there weren't such a crazy system of hoops and catches and income-bias in the first place. I also would hope that MoCo simultaneously puts a large heap of money towards education of the public about smart choices, gaining access to health services, and gaining access to affordable insurance options.

Posted by: Larger Picture | May 16, 2007 10:52 AM

I would like to see a ban on excessive use of perfume and aftershave.

Posted by: P.U. | May 16, 2007 10:59 AM

I wonder, how many accidents and deaths have been caused by people that have overindulged in too much trans fat compared to those that have overindulged in too much alcohol?

To be true to its mission to protect the public, MC ought to close all of its Liquor Stores and ban the consumption of alcoholic beverages everywhere, including restaurants and homes. Why pick on trans fat?

I left MC eight years ago after being a thirty year resident. Why? Because it was turning into what it has become. A bastion of liberal lunacy.

Posted by: Jim | May 16, 2007 11:00 AM

Foods are rarely cooked in transfats, they are baked using transfats as their fat ingredients: partially hydrogenated shortening or margarine instead of butter or lard. Both butter and lard go rancid quickly at room temperature, something cookies are usually stored at.

Olive oil isn't used as a frying oil because it's smoking point is too low. The Five Guys you eat at must have their peanut oil set at too low a temperature or they are trying to cook too many fries at once. Oils that are liquid at room temp are NOT transfats!

All that being said, I don't stuff my gullet with fries, Oreos, doughnuts, pastries, bon bons or any of the other myriad of fatty fattening foods. But a ban on transfats (which until last year weren't seen as a national threat) distract consumers from the fact that doughnuts, cookies and Snickers aren't supposed to be staples of our diets.

Posted by: A Little Perspective | May 16, 2007 11:01 AM

"Are you people serious? Do you honestly believe the next step from a (legitimate) public health ban is a ban on free thought, or whatever other nonsense you conjured up?"

Yes, we are serious. I'm arguing that it is not, in fact, a legitimate public health ban. You haven't really engaged on this one. Why is my health so important that I should give up my ability to choose what I want to eat?

I also never said that it would lead to a ban on free thought. Some of us are disturbed by the precedent, though, because it seems to presuppose that the government has the right to forbid us to do anything it thinks is bad for us. Is that really a principal that you want to defend? If not, what are the limits?

Posted by: Demos | May 16, 2007 11:06 AM

"Montgomery County is a conservative county compared to PG, Baltimore, Arlington, etc. Everyone on my parents' block were republicans and Connie Morella was their representative. Anyone saying otherwise just doesn't get it."

DCer, I'm afraid that it's hard for anyone from DC to get it. Standing next to a sumo wrestler, I look quite svelt. I'm not - I've gotten older and picked up weight. But when you use the extreme as a point of comparison, you can be misled.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 16, 2007 11:11 AM

I liked this article and agree that this country is going down the tubes with these overly oppressive laws. The majority is trampling on the rights of a minority- just because they can.

Freedom is not just the freedom to do the smart or healthy thing. That kind of freedom is no freedom at all.

All of these nanny state tyrants keep blasting the evil corporations like big tobacco etc...yet they evidentally they dont realize they are being used as pawns by big-pharma who is funding the anti-smoking agenda so they can make big $$ for nicotine cessation products.

Posted by: Gregory | May 16, 2007 11:12 AM

Screw trans fat. Bring back lard!!!!

Posted by: John | May 16, 2007 11:12 AM

MoCo should ban cell phones. Period. Nothing more annoying than being surrounded by 3,4 or 5 people on their damned hell phones trying to talk louder than the other person. And what is so all fired important that it can't wait until you get home? Unless somebody just died or the house is burning down, it's not that important. Jeez, people, get a life. Remember Don Adams and his shoe phoen on 'Get Smart?' That's what you look like.

Posted by: And another thing.... | May 16, 2007 11:15 AM

Banning things will someday become "unfascionable" for these politicians. Soon this socialist group of officials will be rationing food and shots to the population "for the benefit of all". Dont ask whats behind the needle...just bend over and take it like a good comrade. Freedom is dying a slow and painful death and the democracy our forefathers envisioned for this nation is trailing a short distance behind.

Posted by: chadlyo | May 16, 2007 11:16 AM

DCer, I'm afraid that it's hard for anyone from DC to get it. Standing next to a sumo wrestler, I look quite svelt. I'm not - I've gotten older and picked up weight. But when you use the extreme as a point of comparison, you can be misled.
----------
if you aren't comparing locally then you aren't comparing. Connie Morella, republican, was my representative when I lived in MoCo. I know people who call McCain liberal. I know people who call Bill Clinton liberal. I know people who call Giuliani liberal. I know people who call all of the above conservative.

Posted by: DCer | May 16, 2007 11:16 AM

Perhaps the county should ban illegal immigrants. But oh, I forgot, there would be no one there willing to work for less than $10.00 an hour!

Perhaps they should also consider a ban on out of scope housing prices.

Posted by: Howie | May 16, 2007 11:18 AM

Don't be sad, lovers of trans-fat who reside in MoCo. DC and NoVa are only a Metro ride away, and we're Beltway accesible. We welcome your patronage, especially since it could bring more sales tax into our areas. It's too bad that your elected officials did not consider this, but that's they're fault. Also, if you get tired of those officials passing bans on everything you love, then please come on over and set up residence on our side. We'd be glad to have you, regardless of your socioeconomic status.

Posted by: Cheer | May 16, 2007 11:18 AM

Why is my health so important that I should give up my ability to choose what I want to eat?
-----------
if you don't know the answer to that one instantly, you can't carry on an intelligent conversation about this. Why indeed? You must think the world operates awfully strangely, don't you. Maybe, it's not the majority acting tyrannically over the minority, my dear Randroid, but your inability to see the question as the rest of society frames it.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 16, 2007 11:20 AM

Perhaps instead of baning trans fat to combat the current state of health that seems to be the driving force behind the ban, MoCo should make taking gym mandatory for all students, everyday from K - 12th grades. During each school year, every student would recieve 4 weeks of health education during their science course.

Parents are enablers. Short of having a medical issue, if a child is fat it's because a parent (or guardian) is allowing it. We can't requlate parenting (although would be a step in the right direction)but we can arm our young people with the ability to know what is healthy and what is not and allow them to help their parents make good choices.

MoCo isn't going to be able to ban what is sold is stores (ok, they do when it comes to booze) so baning trans fats in resturants is like using one drop of rain to put out a forrest fire.

As a 43 year old make, parent of two, I have the right (and obligation) to ensure that my kids eat 3 square meals a day, balance the amount of time spent reading, doing school work and getting excerise. I also have the right to feed my sons a McDeath-burger if I so chose.

MoCo is the highest taxed county in the state. If our elected officals don't have anything better to do than regulate what people eat we need are all due for a huge tax break because it seems all of our county issues are resolved.

As far as those who are comparing smoking to eating trans fat ... Both are legal, both carry health risks, both carry economic risks and both are needed for the tax revenue that they generate. (Smoking brings in a large amount of tax revenue and will never EVER be out lawed because the county, the state and the federal governments want and need people to smoke so that the tax revenue continues) Trans fat tax (ie the tax you pay at McDonalds and other places) also brings in a large segment of revenue. I will bet that if in 3 or 5 years tran-fat tax revenue is reduced someone will site some survey showing that transfats are more needed than not and our county has been on an upward health swing and the trans-fat law will be dismissed.

What's bad for the consumer but good for the revenue base is good for MoCo.

The elected officals who vote for the passing of these asine rules are doing so so they can say they are doing something but they really don't mean it or want it. It's a fance sitting act and this time I think someone sat on the top of the picket.

I would be interested in seeing the health status of our elected officals, their families and their associated eating habits. I do wonder if this was a situation where weak willed people needed the fear of the law to make them do the right things.

Either way, if we continue to allow MoCo and or any government to dictate what we will eat and allow them to continue to micro manage our daily lifes we are nothing but lemmings who deserve to walk off the cliff we are being lead to.

Posted by: GMAB | May 16, 2007 11:20 AM

I am quite happy about the trans-fat ban. In fact, MC has a long way to go before it can truly protect its citizens from the results of their own choices. What we need is a new department in the county govt. that will decide, purchase, and deliver groceries for all county residents. Heaven knows we cannot handle this on our own.

Posted by: Silver Spring | May 16, 2007 11:22 AM

A ban on inadequate roads would be a great idea!

Posted by: ChinoGringo | May 16, 2007 11:22 AM

"One of the reasons for good government is to ensure public safety and that is what MoCo is chasing here. It won't be painless...as I can attest, but the move just might save some lives and prevent some debilitating strokes. Is that not important? Lets not be afraid to move ahead. We can't keep falling behind these other countries...we used to lead the way."

The problem is that we're moving towards defining "public safety" to mean that everyone lives the healthiest life possible, based on the knowledge and judgement of the government. And, concluding that it is the role of government "to ensure public safety" by requiring citizens to live that healthy life - regardless of their personal desires, preferences, or even legitimate disagreements over the risk involved.

I really do wonder about the way we approach things. Would we be willing to prohibit unprotected sex (except for couples seeking to conceive)? I don't think so - we're concerned about privacy rights and individual freedom in that case. But isn't it a greater health challenge than McDonald's fries?

Posted by: Demos | May 16, 2007 11:25 AM

this isn't really a republican or democrat issue in my opinion, although I do think in this day and age the democrats and "liberals" have become more facist and contolling in government than the conservatives. The party people really should start looking at is the Libertarian party if you are against these fascist regulations such as the ban on trans fats. Our government has become way too big for it's britches. When you have a group of government officials with nothing better to do than to sit around and legislate what we can or cannot eat, you've got problems. Imagine Thomas Jefferson or George Washington back in the day legislating some document for hours about food. Declaration of Independence? nah. Constitution? nah. Hey what about telling citizens what they can and can not eat George? BRILLIANT !!!!

Our forefathers are rolling over in their graves right now.

Posted by: greg | May 16, 2007 11:27 AM

Natural Selection...if people aren't smart enough to avoid smoking and eating trans fatty foods they will die younger and younger and will be less likely to reproduce and polute the gene pool.

While I'm happy that I can enjoy the inside areas of Montgomery County bars without coughing up a lung I am dissapointed that I can no longer enjoy bar patio's as all the smokers are now packed out there like sardines puffing away on their cancer sticks. Overall the smoking ban has done little to improve my quality of life as a Montgomery County resident and I have little doubt this new trans fat ban will do the same, nothing.

Posted by: Darwin | May 16, 2007 11:27 AM

I'll say to all of these whiners what they are apparently saying to the Illegal Immigrants: If you don't like it here, get the HELL OUT!

Posted by: Logic | May 16, 2007 11:29 AM

"if you aren't comparing locally then you aren't comparing."

This comment makes no sense to me. That's like looking at the supermodel who weighs 110 pounds and calling her "fat" because everyone else in the dressing room is under 100 pounds.

Posted by: Demos | May 16, 2007 11:31 AM

this isn't really a republican or democrat issue in my opinion, although I do think in this day and age the democrats and "liberals" have become more facist and contolling in government than the conservatives.
----------
Alberto Gonzales is suddenly a liberal to you? what? on what planet? or do you not care about civil liberties.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 16, 2007 11:32 AM

"Why is my health so important that I should give up my ability to choose what I want to eat?
-----------
if you don't know the answer to that one instantly, you can't carry on an intelligent conversation about this."

No, 11:20 AM, you don't understand liberty. I have changed how I eat in order to protect myself. But my freedom is, in fact, more important than my health - and I will give up more to protect it. Few people are willing to die for tofu - many are willing to die for liberty.

Posted by: Demos | May 16, 2007 11:34 AM

The first Maryland county to...

-Ban smoking in restaurants/bars/workplaces.
-Ban gun shows (repealed)
-Ban Santa from appearing in public (repealed)
-Institute a red light camera program.
-Institute a speed camera program.
-Ban trans fats!
-Make it illegal to smoke on your own property (If, by chance, your neighbor is 'affected.')

Do these examples not speak for themselves? As many have said before, 'Nanny State' is all that comes to mind.

Quick, councilpersons! We must move quickly if we wish to make the marketplace of ideas obsolete!

Posted by: Louie | May 16, 2007 11:37 AM

MoCo is a decent enough place to live and trans fats are generally bad. Bans are bad too. My cognitive dissonance rides high.

Posted by: chuck | May 16, 2007 11:39 AM

this has nothing to do with Alberto Gonzales. Did I mention him? I did not.

I am talking about this issue, which is basically a liberal community in Maryland. Yes, LIBERAL, who have made the decision for it's citizens that they are no longer allowed to eat trans fats in their county because the LIBERAL government of that county knows more about whats good for their citizens than their own citizens do.

You see, there is a pendulum when it comes to political correctness. It starts swinging left, and goes so far to the left thast it becomes distustingly fascist and controlling. Another example may be outlawing the "N" word. I guarantee you that has gone through the minds of many a liberal politician.

You Alberto Gonzoles diversion is ridiculous.

Posted by: greg | May 16, 2007 11:40 AM

Isnt it also true that transfats cause chronic flatulence? Well I demand the right to fart in public whether the people like it or not! Everybody cut, everybody cut FARTLOOSE!

Posted by: Peeps4NoGasNMoCo | May 16, 2007 11:42 AM

We here at peoples republik of Websilania applaude the efforts of our Comrades in MoCo, is about time Americanzinkies learn that government is much smarter on things of every kind! We will be looking forwardz to the upcoming bans in MoCo on Speaking loudly, Driving anything powered by gasoline, and moving in a hurried fashion! Please keep up the good work!

Posted by: CzarofWebsilvania | May 16, 2007 11:43 AM

Yall are more than welcome to move to Prince William County

P.S. make sure you skip Arlington, Fairfax, and even Loudoun because its just as bad

Posted by: liberty seeker | May 16, 2007 11:44 AM

"...voted to take choices about what to eat away from consumers..."

Excuse me, Mr. Fisher, but consumers hardly have a choice when they don't know what is being used to cook their food in the first place. One could conceivably eat every meal at home, but neither culture nor time permit many to achieve that. I agree with the concept of personal responsibility and would have preferred to see a halfway step, like requiring the amount of transfat in a dish to be listed on the menu (OR display the fact that transfats are used in the establishment at all.) That would empower consumers to make choices. We do not have that choice, however, as long as consumers are left in the dark about what exactly is used in producing their food. Banning them outright was a tad harsh, but I'm sure any form of holding food vendors accountable for the way they prepare their wares would be met with whining on the part of people with vested interests in the industry. And well-off people like yourself who, because you are so removed from the everyday reality of the working class, fail to appreciate the hard choices people need to make with the limited and privileged information that is out there regarding things in one's environment.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 16, 2007 11:46 AM

xtr657 said: "just as it's perfectly legal to pollute the air with your car or be a danger to the public as a drunk"

Last I check, public drunkeness was not legal. The smoking while walking down the street could be regulated my social pressures, as in "not cool", and I think we are heading that way as the baby boomers age and try to hang onto what little life they haven't already drank, smoked, doped and screwed out of themselves.

Remind me to avoid your neck of the woods if you think public drunkeness is legal...

Posted by: Anonymous | May 16, 2007 11:50 AM

Sorry...those two posts at 11:46 and 11:50 were mine. Got ahead of myself there!

Posted by: CyanSquirrel | May 16, 2007 11:51 AM

Both sides of this public forum are missing the point, the only point.

It's not about healthy or unhealthy choices by consumers. Businesses are choosing poisonous fat substitutes over real fat. They are choosing them to save money.

Eat and enjoy your fatty foods, french fries, donuts, etc. I plan to. I also will enjoy the companies making a few cents less on each donut. Real fat tastes better, fills you up better, and is doesn't kill you.

If they were putting rat poison instead of grease in your french fries because it saved them millions of dollars annually somehow, you would not protest and say "but I love fries and should be allowed to eat them!" you would say get that damn rat poison out of my french fries and use real grease.

That analogy is not a stretch, it is the exact case we have with trans fats. It's about the profit margins at the expense of public health.

G

Posted by: Greg | May 16, 2007 11:55 AM

It is a health issue; look at the earlier post about heart disease in Denmark. Your health becomes my issue when you arrive at the hospital without insurance, and the government (or other insurance payers) foot your bill. The central question is, do you accept government regulation of ANY private consumption? Heroin? Elephant tusks? The claims that we shouldn't regulate what "doesn't hurt anyone else" should be taken to their logical conclusion: dissolve the FDA entirely, legalize ALL drugs (addiction is tough, but not everyone becomes addicted, so no point in regulating-- it's an unconscionable restriction of freedom!); abolish ALL alcohol/tobacco restrictions, etc. I have this debate all the time with libertarians, and it always comes back to the fact that they just don't accept the idea of government regulation at all. Fine- but most people do. There is no "line" to be drawn arbitrarily; deciding a reasonable level of regulation is an ongoing process of dialogue between the government and the voters. These regulations are passed by governments that are elected by the people to serve their best interests. When (if) the government oversteps, THE VOTERS THROW THEM OUT. You can argue that a specific ban on trans fats is unnecessary, but to say that any such ban is totalitarian (which is ridiculous!) or a restriction of freedom AS SUCH means you should feel the same way about bans on heroin. And, incidentally, I live in D.C. (MC is too expensive and too spread-out) and I opposed the smoking ban here, because I like to smoke. But I would never equate smoking in a bar to a central tenet of freedom (absurd!), because I understand that regulation is a part of a free society - and the consensus in my community supported the smoking ban. I lost; no big deal. In short, I'm not a whiner, and I can put things in their proper perspective.

Posted by: John R. | May 16, 2007 11:55 AM

How am I supposed to "choose" whether or not to eat trans fat in a restaurant, Marc? Most restaurants don't publish their nutrition information. I'm just supposed to magically know what has trans fat and what doesn't? (I doubt waiters would be able to tell me either.)

Posted by: "Choice" | May 16, 2007 11:59 AM

How about those stupid kids' shoes with wheels on the soles? I've seen many plow right into other people -- old folks, knocked up women, other little kids. They are a danger and equivalent to being on a skateboard. What sane thinking parent would buy them, anyway?

Posted by: Anonymous | May 16, 2007 11:59 AM

John R. and Voice of Reason: AMEN! There is hope for the human race. Seeing rational, reasoned comments like yours make my day. I agree...the market has not done a stellar job here. I'd skip the items with transfats IF I KNEW WHAT THOSE WERE! Bah...

Posted by: CyanSquirrel | May 16, 2007 12:02 PM

Ban life. Ban living beyond 40's to reduce healthcare costs.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 16, 2007 12:02 PM

Marc, you are usually so well-reasoned in your analysis but your emotions on this one have left you out in left field tilting at windmills. I fully support the trans-fat ban. trans-fats are hydrogenated vegetable oils engineered to make them solid at room temperature, thus doing the same harm to our arteries as does lard, which no one defends. They are not banning naturally occuring trans-fats so I find your fears and your catastrophyzing unfounded.

Posted by: Dr. F. | May 16, 2007 12:06 PM

Marc, you are usually so well-reasoned in your analysis but your emotions on this one have left you out in left field tilting at windmills. I fully support the trans-fat ban. trans-fats are hydrogenated vegetable oils engineered to make them solid at room temperature, thus doing the same harm to our arteries as does lard, which no one defends. They are not banning naturally occuring trans-fats so I find your fears and your catastrophyzing unfounded.

Posted by: Dr. F. | May 16, 2007 12:07 PM

Corn Syrup will be the next target, IMHO.
And with Corn crops shifting to Gas Production the price is going through the roof anyways.
Let's ban Corn Syrup - maybe Monsanto can make something fake to replace it...
Since Aspertame has no side effects - NOT.

Posted by: Ban Everything | May 16, 2007 12:08 PM

Ban parents. Who needs 'em? We have Ike and his crew to raise them, educate them, indoctinate them, tell them what to eat and drink and how to have sex, and then send them off to Howard County where they can afford to live. We can live in our forever-unchanging, pristine neighborhoods, surrounded by clogged roads, growing pockets of poverty and evil doers sneaking over from PG County on Erlich's ICC.

One other quick note... What bars? We can't be trusted with bars. People might sit down with alcohol and talk about the absurdity of our nanny-state county government and want to do away with it.

Posted by: mikeyfreddy | May 16, 2007 12:10 PM

Smokers have not been tossed out of anywhere. Only the smoke has been eliminated. Smokers have the same right as non-smokers to enter these places. They just don't have the right to harm others with their smoke.

Posted by: Danny | May 16, 2007 12:17 PM

On a side note - the Montgomery Liquor stores (the DLC) have a very good selection, and outstanding pricing, not to mention their sales. Far better than Virginia ABC, much better than many private liquor stores I've been to.

Posted by: Vince | May 16, 2007 12:18 PM

For those of you who complain that restaurants do not fully disclose their use of transfats in cooking and that McDonalds would only make a few less pennies if they used trans fat free substitutes, I say this: BAH! Healthy (if there is such a thing) fats break down rapidly into transfats when subjected to heat and contamination from things like...food. They become transfats. That means that Mickey D's would have to change their cooking oil after every batch of fries and as a competetive supplier of fast food would be forced to pass that added cost on to the consumer. I'm sure that if there were enough demand for fries cooked with fresh oil and the consumers were willing to pay the increased cost, someone would go into the business of selling them. If you are strictly regarding McDonald's as an example of a place where consumers don't have sufficient information on the health issues of their product, you are selling the American public short. People who eat at McDonald's are quite aware that it is not a health food store and that healthier alternatives are available. Subway Sandwiches has long waged a major ad campaign on this very issue. McDonald's stays in business by offering the public what they want, reasonably good tasting food at reasonable prices. I say you should let the people decide on an individual basis what they want.

Posted by: Econ Major in NC | May 16, 2007 12:22 PM

To those who hate this act, vote out the county council. If you can't find enough people who care out about this issue to vote with you, then you might consider that Montgomery County and you are not a good fit. That's ok. There's nothing wrong with moving to a community that fits your viewpoints better.
Your options of how to actually change these "rules" in your community are pretty simple: 1) Change the minds of enough citizens here to vote out the council 2) Move to somewhere where more people think like you do
Nothing said on here will accomplish either of those options.

Posted by: Huh | May 16, 2007 12:23 PM

AustrianOak, I've tried to vote the nanny-staters out to no avail. Oftentimes the choice at the voting booth is between different flavors of nanny-staters.

As a Montgomery County resident, I'm more than a little insulted that the council unanimously thinks I am incapable of making dietary choices for myself. There are some rare occassions when I just want a tasty slice of pie, which usually contains trans-fats. My normal diet doesn't contain much in the way of trans-fats. Why should I not be able to choose a restaurant that serves a pie made with trans-fat for an occasional treat?

Posted by: DC Cubefarm | May 16, 2007 12:27 PM

I think we need to ban illegal immigrants. No amnesty and frankly, I could care less if their kids were born here. My parents and grandparents came here LEGALLY, so can these people. My folks came from war-torn Europe, they worked hard AND THEY LEARNED ENGLISH!!!!!!! I think we cater to idiots.

Yeah, ban trans-fats, and while they are at it, maybe they should ban American citizens because surely, we have no place in a nation of illegal immigrants.

Posted by: wils reed | May 16, 2007 12:28 PM

Memo to all Americans
Effective immediately all food will be issued to you by the Federal Government. After years of exhaustive research by NASA, we have determined that a synthesized paste is the healthiest form of nutrition. Furthermore all risky activities will cease. These things include but are not limited to: Smoking, driving, motorcycling, flying, listening to loud music, drinking alcohol or soft drinks, gardening, playing with your children, having children, thinking about having children, indulging in any physical activity whatsoever. You will all take up residence where you work and will remain there until we summon you. We are required to do this because we know better than you what is good for you and what is right. Furthermore we cannot take a chance that you will become sick or injured and become a burden on our medical resources which are limited for use only by us. Please remember that you elected us and therefore want this change. We don't want to thank you because you might feel happy about being recognized and would then do something we find offensive. Sincerely - Your Government. Remember...Ignorance is bliss

Posted by: Econ Major in NC | May 16, 2007 12:45 PM

I hope they ban rape next. The county and state don't prosecute rape that takes place subsequent to consensual sex.

I wish they would lift the ban on stabbing people with needles full of the stuff in cigarette smoke.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 16, 2007 12:47 PM

"Montgomery County is a conservative county compared to PG, Baltimore, Arlington, etc. Everyone on my parents' block were republicans and Connie Morella was their representative. Anyone saying otherwise just doesn't get it."

DCer, Connie Morella was a Republican, but she was hardly a conservative. She leaned liberal, if anything. Check out her voting record, more often than not her votes mirrored those of the Democratic wing. There are such things as liberal Republicans and conservative Democrats. Connie's former district is filled with the liberal Republicans. My folks and their neighbors, for example. I get it.

WWHS-79

Posted by: Rabid Rabbit | May 16, 2007 12:47 PM

The Montgomery County ban is on ARTIFICIAL transfat (see http://www.montgomerycountymd.gov/Apps/Council/PressRelease/PR_details.asp?PrID=3556), which should not affect butter.

Likewise, the New York City ban also appears to be on artificial transfats - if you read the NY Times story linked at "to abandon butter" in the Raw Fisher column above, it's clear that this is in part a market-driven problem - retailers want to be able to say their products are trans fat-free, and current FEDERAL labeling laws don't make a distinction between artificial and natural transfats, so bakers producing goods for them are forced to eliminate butter. (However, it appears that there would have to be about 2 Tbs of butter in a serving - or roughly 1/16 of a lb. - to trigger the FDA trans fat labeling requirement of half a gram of trans fat, and that's a pretty heft amount of butter for a single serving.)

Posted by: Butter Sensationalism | May 16, 2007 12:48 PM

It's time the county supported the laws of the United States. Enforce the ban on illegal immigrants. We can worry about fat later.

Posted by: Tom, Dick, and Harry | May 16, 2007 12:51 PM

People don't get it - you can have greasy fries just like you've always had - you don't need trans fat to fry things. Trans fat does not add any flavor to your greasy fries, it just makes them even worse for you because your body is not designed to deal with them very well, so why would you want that? Putting them in everything we eat only increases the food industries' bottom line and makes society foot the health care bill.

Posted by: Rosslyn | May 16, 2007 12:55 PM

Hey MoCo, if you want to help us live healthier, start working with employers and insurance companies to pass along health care costs to us.

If you want to smoke and eat trans-fats and be a couch potato, fine. Your monthly insurance premium deducted from your paycheck will be $1,000. Quit smoking, we'll drop it to $600. Work with a nutritionist and go to the gym 5 days a week, we'll lower your premium to $100.

Allow us to make the choices we wish to make, but incentivize us to make the right choices. Don't spoonfeed us.

Posted by: Trafalgamar | May 16, 2007 1:01 PM

We could ban stupid articles from the Washington Post. This one would be a great start.

Posted by: Aaron | May 16, 2007 1:08 PM

Can we ban people from wearing socks with sandals? Better yet, we should be able to shoot those people on sight.

Posted by: Jacknut | May 16, 2007 1:15 PM

As much as I hate MoCo acting as a nanny state, I have to agree that they are entitled to do this under an argument for freedom. Presumably the MoCo electorate voted these people in to do exactly this sort of thing, and that is exactly what MoCo is getting.

If the people do not like it, they have two choices: first they can "vote da bums out" and elect a new board that will rescind the ban on trans fats - and second they can simply vote with their feet and move away no longer choosing to associate themselves with the totalitarian regime.

I still personally think it is idocy to ban trans fats, but the only point I am trying to make here is that the people have the right to elect leaders that will curtail their own freedoms.

For those who are

Posted by: Anonymous | May 16, 2007 1:16 PM

Hey, 9:18, You just don't get it. The illegals are breaking the law. They don't care. There are legal ways to get here. Those employing illegals should be held accountable. You know what? I've seen houses built by illegals in Tx. There are no standards. You see houses hanging off their foundations, studs spaced far apart, and roofs improperly supported, as mine was discovered to have been when I tried to sell my house. There is no accountability! They are time and again the first ones breaking laws, burning American flags, and hoisting Mexican flags. If they are so proud of Mexico, why not stay? Oh, is it so corrupt that they feel oppressed? Fine, fix it, or else become a proud American! Nothing is said if they burn an American flag. Try burning a Mexican flag and see how fast you get in some serious trouble. Same test would apply for burning an Iranian flag in an exercise of free speech. How tollerant are you of fellow American's rights as you call them intollerant?

The same people who want to make excuses for illegals and islamic terrorists are of the same crowd that calls for "freedom of choice" and the "right" to killing babies, but wants to take away the real choices and Constitutional rights to bear arms to defend yourself and loved ones of any attackers. You ultimately want a police state with an illusion of protection. It's funny how those opposed to any sort of "National Security" are the same ones calling for more restrictions on freedoms!

That said, look what happens in gun free zones. They become target rich environments for psychos and terrorists.

Anyway, you seem for opening the borders. Guess what, Mexican trucks will soon have free access. It's bad enough we inspect about 1 percent of our imported food. Now we will have trucks bringing who knows what in- whether it is more illegals, tainted food, drugs, or weapons, it looks like you will get your wish for a North American Union, or at least an open border through which chaos can flow. I bet you'll be one of the first to join in on the finger pointing when things hit the fan instead of trying to do something about it. Criminals and terrorists enjoy people like you who sing a PC version of Kumbayah, they are all about sticking a knife in your back when you try to welcome them with a hug.

Sheep, wolves, and sheepdogs. Google those 3 words.

Posted by: Chris | May 16, 2007 1:20 PM

Those who argue that this is a restriction on "freedom" are wrong in this instance.

You are free to do whatever you want as long as it doesn't affect me in a negative way. The question is does your eating transfats and increasing your health risks affect me in a negative way?

I believe it does because it is increasing my health care costs. The cause-effect isn't as imminent as stealing my wallet, but it is there. It's another example of the "Tragedy of the Commons"

If you can dissociate yourself from increasing my health care costs, then you can do whatever you want. Promise to kill yourself if you get heart disease, for instance.

PlaneFast.com

Posted by: planefast | May 16, 2007 1:23 PM

Let's sterlize all illegals so they cannot reproduce. Ban illegal reproduction!

Posted by: Population overload | May 16, 2007 1:25 PM

On both trans fat and smoking, there is not one shred of medically valid scientific research on the face of this planet that proves either one is causitive of any disease, harm or death. Lots of wives tales, superstition, folklore and pure propaganda for financial profit(Johnson & Johnson) but not one valid research project. Please, do not come back with "studies show" because they don't in fact show. All smoking bans come from one person....Robert Wood Johnson. Trans fat crap comes from one group...Center for Science in the Public Intrest....notable for lack of any scientists. All rule by press release based on fraud. Until MoCo can elect people who are not governed purely by con artists, snake oil salesmen, public relations shills (like smokefree Md.) and other certified nuts and phonies (activist groups) you will not see fresh air. What do you expect from a bunch of Rockville tin foiled hat wearing moonbeam bimbos....Logic? Whatever Bloomberg does is easy for them to copy. Monkey see Monkey Do. No brain no pain.

Posted by: BostonRay | May 16, 2007 1:25 PM

Oh, and to get back on topic after my rant, I agree with planefast. :-)
I think you should be free to do whatever, so long as you are not taking or hurting someone else's freedoms to life, liberty, or pursuit of happiness. Guess what? Smoking in public interferes AND raises health costs. Trans-fat just raises health-costs, but that's bad enough and easily avoided. I am against fruitless legislation, but if this will save lives and reduce taxes and costs over the long run, then fine.

Posted by: Chris | May 16, 2007 1:28 PM

I reside in Montgomery County, but I don't spend a dime there, beyond income taxes. I'll take my money and make my choices where it's appreciated.

Posted by: jonnxx | May 16, 2007 1:32 PM

"On both trans fat and smoking, there is not one shred of medically valid scientific research on the face of this planet that proves either one is causitive of any disease, harm or death."

BostonRay, you obviously don't have a lung condition! I am a disabled vet, and know first-hand what second-hand can do! If I get so much as a whif of cigarette smoke I experience harm in the form of not being able to breath. If I do not take medication, I could die. Suffocating does harm. If you don't think so, stop breathing and we'll all see what happens.

Posted by: Chris | May 16, 2007 1:34 PM

Ban those damned flip=flops. They are for showers and beach wear, NOT office wear. They look tacky, are unsanitary, and make that annoying flip-flop, flip-flop, flip-flop, flip-flop, flip-flop, flip-flop, flip-flop, AAAARRRGGGHHHH! And the little tramps that wore them to the White HOuse to meet the President should be shot.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 16, 2007 1:39 PM

Soylent Green is people!

Posted by: Charlton | May 16, 2007 1:40 PM

I just moved to MC and am already discouraged. The best thing that we can do is vote for the right candidates that will legislate within their jurisdiction and leave personal choices to the individuals, but I'm not optimistic that they'll ever be on the ballots here. I can't wait for the day I can move out of this crazy area and to a place where small government is valued, and policitians truly serve their consituients, not themselves by promoting these silly agendas.

Posted by: Another heartless repub. | May 16, 2007 1:46 PM

I just moved to MC and am already discouraged. The best thing that we can do is vote for the right candidates that will legislate within their jurisdiction and leave personal choices to the individuals, but I'm not optimistic that they'll ever be on the ballots here. I can't wait for the day I can move out of this crazy area and to a place where small government is valued, and policitians truly serve their consituients, not themselves by promoting these silly agendas.

Posted by: Another heartless repub. | May 16, 2007 1:46 PM

Not so fast, planefast. There's a balancing test to be had between the restriction on other people's freedom and the "negative impact" it has on others -- i.e. the negative impact needs to be substantial enough to justify restricting the other person's right. I would argue that simply being inconvenienced into having to pay more for something isn't necessarily sufficient a harm to justify restricting others' right to engage in an activity. Otherwise, wouldn't the simple fact that my health care costs rise because uninsured women have babies mean that we should be able to restrict women without adequate health insurance from having babies? I know it sounds extreme, but isn't that the extrapolation of your "people eating unhealthy foods raises my cost for healthcare, so let's ban unhealthy foods"? Well, if unfettered fornication involving uninsured women raises my healthcare cost, then shouldn't we be able to ban that, too?


Posted by: VoR | May 16, 2007 2:16 PM

Oh My God, you people are nuts for letting these fly by night lawyers dictate and control the way you live. If you allow your neighbor to tell you that you can not smoke or eat fatty food in your own home, the next thing will be banning certain people from there county. The people of MOCO needs to read the Constitution of the United States and understand what Freedom means, stand up to these snobs and just say NO!

Posted by: Tim from AA CO | May 16, 2007 2:19 PM

"I just moved to MC and am already discouraged. I can't wait for the day I can move out of this crazy area..."

Great! That is exactly right, because you clearly recognize that the will of the community has the right to govern the rules of the community. Since you plainly see that the consensus is never likely to shift your mode of thinking (on a matter that does not concern a fundamental right), you are planning to leave. If you are an honest believer in democracy, but you know that this community has antithetical views to your own, that is exactly the right decision. It is certainly much more respectable than trying to pretend that normal regulations are somehow equivalent to totalitarian secret police.

Posted by: John R. | May 16, 2007 2:20 PM

"I just moved to MC and am already discouraged. I can't wait for the day I can move out of this crazy area..."

Great! That is exactly right, because you clearly recognize that the will of the community has the right to govern the rules of the community. Since you plainly see that the consensus is never likely to shift your mode of thinking (on a matter that does not concern a fundamental right), you are planning to leave. If you are an honest believer in democracy, but you know that this community has antithetical views to your own, that is exactly the right decision. It is certainly much more respectable than trying to pretend that normal regulations are somehow equivalent to totalitarian secret police. I live in D.C. and like to smoke. But I love D.C. much more than I care about the smoking ban, which my community supports. So I'm staying. Trans fats bans are more important to you than MoCo, so leaving is probably best for everyone. Bon voyage!

Posted by: John R. | May 16, 2007 2:21 PM

How about a ban on Hummer's and SUV's and other vehicles that contribute significantly to our astronomical fuel prices?

When I see someone hop down from their ridicuously obnoxious Hummer, I first revel in the fact that you look like a flippin idiot and then second want to approach them and ask them as they drive along getting 6 or 7 miles to the gallon, if they actually consider the money they are pissing away every time they fill up?

Or better yet, how about some consideration for the persons that work two jobs to support themselves while they go to college full time? And in the meantime are driving cars that get better gas mileage and contribute far less to the greenhouse effect?

And not to mention, a lot more strapped for dough.

Can we ban them? I hate them.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 16, 2007 2:21 PM

I would like to see a ban on the G.D. emissions testing! We have to get our vehicles tested, yet people from out of state come here to work and drive up and down the road spewing black exhaust into the air.

Posted by: Jim | May 16, 2007 2:26 PM

Well lets try to see the positives as well. If you live longer because of this ban then the county will be able to tax you longer! Wooo Hooo!

Posted by: FLvet | May 16, 2007 2:27 PM

Another heartless repub.: Sorry, that ain't going to happen. Politicians tell whatever lies they can to get elected. Then they vote the way lobbyists and special interest groups want them to vote. They change their stripes to fit the situation. They talk out of both sides of their mouth. Sure, they'll lower taxes, improve the schools, clean house to get out the deadwood, make health care affordable, clean up the environment, be a friend to the working man, and listen to the voters. Yeah, right, when pigs fly. They ALL say that but look what we end up with. Lying connivin' crooked poli-tee-shuns.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 16, 2007 2:42 PM

why doesn't someone open a trans fat/smoke free restaurant.

Posted by: me | May 16, 2007 2:43 PM

"why doesn't someone open a trans fat/smoke free restaurant."

Why don't YOU open one?

Posted by: Go For It | May 16, 2007 2:47 PM

Natural fat is good. Molecularly altered fat is bad. In regards to "Population overload" please eat more trans fat and leave those people alone. If you treat them nice maybe they can hire you. Also dear Chris illegals and islamic terrorists are not the same so chill out because your mom really did love you. Stop the hate.

Posted by: Real American Citizen | May 16, 2007 2:56 PM

We here at Websilania have compiled list for our comrades for be banning next!

Non Matching Clothes
Sunglasses
Cell Phones
All Phones
Leaf Blowers
Guns
Knives (including butter)
Forks
Blunt Objects
Posters
Megaphones
Shorts
Permanent Markers

This being short list of version - see to soon you will be getting to the banning of these things, Salude!

Posted by: CzarofWebsilvania | May 16, 2007 2:59 PM

BostonRay You're the Man or Woman!

Enjoyed the quip of honesty, but now as penitence for my monetary loss of love for all government and what it does for me and my family, I will have to say 10 hail Cesars (cuse the spelling), uh MOCO Politburos.

Fort Worth, formerly of MD

Posted by: Russ | May 16, 2007 3:05 PM

"It is a health issue; look at the earlier post about heart disease in Denmark. Your health becomes my issue when you arrive at the hospital without insurance, and the government (or other insurance payers) foot your bill."

This is over-reaching. At some point I can argue that most anything you do has a potential effect on the people around you (frankly, your leisure suits and 'fro are an eyesore and are bringing down the property values in our neighborhood). In a free society, we have to be willing to allow other citizens to do some things that we do not like, and even find personally obnoxious. It may be your "natural" landscaping; it may be my corned beef and kraut sandwich; it may be my mom's bungee jumping; it may be someone else's polka music - but freedom doesn't mean being free to force everyone else to live in a way that you think is responsible and nice.

Posted by: Demos | May 16, 2007 3:08 PM

Trafalgamar,

Good perspective!

All that are reading this:

I am so tired of the world of sanitization of everything in the name of political correctness!Let's commence being honest in society instead of living in this world of falseness!

Best Wishes,

ChinoGringo

Posted by: ChinoGringo | May 16, 2007 3:15 PM

While most of you fools are growing your fat, there's a whole population getter fatter and fatter- your children. Ever sat in a Macdonalds and watched the troupe of obese children parade by with their fat parents? This law is really directed at parents, to prevent their kids from doing what the parents don't have the time, intelligence, or discipline to do- make sure their kids don't eat stuff that's proven to make them obese, unhealthy, and unable to participate in physical activities. You wouldn't let kids walk around in public smoking, or drinking alcohol- why is this any different?

Posted by: lordoflogic | May 16, 2007 3:19 PM

we should ban newspersons (not you Mark) that do not reply to emails.

Posted by: nospinzone1 | May 16, 2007 3:20 PM

Not everyone can tolerate peanut oil - there are a lot of peanut allergies. That's one reason a lot of places don't use peanut oil.

When trans fats are used in baking, there really isn't a good substitute at the moment that will have give the same flavor, consistency and shelf-life. Baked goods won't be as crispy or last as long with other current possible replacements. That's why trans fats were used in the first place.

Personally, I don't think they should ban transfats. Each consumer should know what they're getting and if they don't want trans fats, 'vote with your wallet' and don't buy it - there are many alternatives. For those of us who don't eat many in the first place and who lead otherwise healthy lifestyles, but like to indulge every so often, leave us alone and let us make our own choices!

Posted by: Bethany | May 16, 2007 3:25 PM

Ban Starbucks on every corner. That is the worst swill ever. Not to mention the paper cups with the extra little strip of cardboard around the middle. And the gobs of whipped cream on top. And the plugged in cyber freaks with their laptops. Get a grip -- all the sins of the world can be found at Starbucks.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 16, 2007 3:25 PM

And yes I'm an illegal alien - my ancestors came over on the Mayflower.

Thats very cute, I'll tell you who does the real work in this country - tax paying legal immigrants for a fair wage - please try to think before you post next time - you're an embarasment to Law Abiding citizens everywhere.

Posted by: LoL. | May 16, 2007 3:29 PM

I think MoCo should ban trans fats. It is genetically modified. We get enough junk in our foods already. While they're at it, ban all artificial foods. Eat natural, live longer.

Posted by: 1richer | May 16, 2007 3:41 PM

Ban political speeches to 50 words or less.

Posted by: Oh No! | May 16, 2007 3:44 PM

Its garbage like this that makes me mad that I chose MoCo to live in. After this my husband and I decided to sell our house and move out of this police state. This is just nuts. No GOVERNMENT has the right to tell me what to eat.

Oh well, I hope more and more wake up and move away from these police states that are popping up.

Posted by: Jill | May 16, 2007 3:44 PM

So what kind of myopia do you have that leads you to print a NEWS story that doesn't identify exactly where this Montgomery County is? Not everyone lives in your region, you know, and lots of states have counties with that name. Please . . .

Posted by: Dot | May 16, 2007 3:51 PM

I guess the 7-11 stores will be banned next. Those stores are full of the nasty forbidden foods that the nutrition police wannabes are fighting against. I wonder how many twinkies these wannabes have stuffed in their mouths.

Posted by: Wonder what they eat | May 16, 2007 3:53 PM

Government is a b*tch, you can't live with it, you can't kill it. We don't want government sitting on our necks, limiting our personal choices; yet if it wasn't for government regulations, you'd still have your veggies sprayed with DDT and your houses insulated with asbestos. I agree that consuming trans fats, or any other food ingredient, is a matter of personal choice, and it's different from smoking since there's no secondary side effect. However, at the end of the day, part of the insurance bill for treating people with food induced systemic disorders comes out of my pocket, and yours too.

Posted by: MC_Hammer | May 16, 2007 3:55 PM

rDot, we enjoy our narrow views so please read you own regional newspaper and don't worry about DC and it's surroundings.

Posted by: MD resident | May 16, 2007 3:57 PM

Dot, we enjoy our narrow views so please read your own regional newspaper and don't worry about DC and it's surroundings.

Posted by: MD resident | May 16, 2007 3:57 PM

To the hypersensitive libertarians who think the government is out there trying to tell them what to eat -- NO ONE is banning you from driving yourself to the supermarket across the street, buying a bucket of I CAN'T BELIEVE IT'S NOT BUTTER, and stuffing yourself to death.

Posted by: MC_Hammer | May 16, 2007 4:02 PM

Actually, as is so often the case with newspaper columnists, you miss the point. You argue for choice, but when's the last time your menu included a list of ingredients. Yes, I want to choose whether or not to eat trans fats. In order to do so, I must know whether or not they are in the foods offered.

Posted by: Brint | May 16, 2007 4:14 PM

If Mo Co don't tell me how to live my life....who will???

Sheep get lead around their whole life - mostly ending with the slaughter.

Posted by: Dandy Dan | May 16, 2007 4:15 PM

If Mo Co don't tell me how to live my life....who will???

Sheep get lead around their whole life - mostly ending with the slaughter.

Posted by: Dandy Dan | May 16, 2007 4:15 PM

If Mo Co don't tell me how to live my life....who will???

Sheep get lead around their whole life - mostly ending with the slaughter.

Posted by: Dandy Dan | May 16, 2007 4:15 PM

Heart Disease?

It's much more than banning fats.

http://www.internetwks.com/owen/suppress.htm and http://www.vitamincfoundation.org/

Good Luck!

Posted by: DUH | May 16, 2007 4:18 PM

MoCo can ban trans-fat all they want to but if the restaurant portions are too big, what does this ban solve. Oops, I guess portion sizes will be next.

Posted by: Chia | May 16, 2007 4:22 PM

DWN wrote: "I want the ban because I want my health safe guarded, and I cannot do this alone without help from my fellow citizens, ie. government intervention. Others will have whatever opinion, but encourage them to look into the safety issues of trans-fats, something this opinion piece discourages with FUD, before making up their minds."

Wrong. You can do this alone, without government intervention: You can buy your own food at the grocery store and prepare it yourself, at home! You're not entitled to restaurants that prepare their food according to your personal nutritional plan.

Posted by: JWM | May 16, 2007 4:23 PM

You're not entitled to restaurants that prepare their food according to your personal nutritional plan.
----

oh yes, we are. think about it, we absolutely are

Posted by: Anonymous | May 16, 2007 4:28 PM

Ban human life...it's simply too dangerous, and always leads to death. It is the ultimate terminal illness.

Posted by: ZigZagMan | May 16, 2007 4:29 PM

Not everyone can tolerate peanut oil - there are a lot of peanut allergies. That's one reason a lot of places don't use peanut oil.
----

processed peanut oil is non-allergenic. unless you make it at home, it's just oil

Posted by: Anonymous | May 16, 2007 4:30 PM

Cars, bicycles, inline skates...ban them. They kill and maim thousands every year. Why do you need them in Montgomery County when you have Strathmore?

Trees...thousands of children injured climbing trees every year. Ban them; they are too dangerous for Montgomery County children.

Birthday cakes...ban them. Too many Montgomery County children develop diabetes.

Posted by: Che | May 16, 2007 4:31 PM

The fact is that trans-fats are making our country unhealthy thus making healthcare more expensive for all of us. I am not a huge fan of complete ban, but I think a sin-tax is in order and that they should definitely be banned in schools. However, it sounds to me like many of you would think this policy was only slightly less socialist.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 16, 2007 4:32 PM

Sieg Heil MoCo.

More nazi garbage from the liberals.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 16, 2007 4:41 PM

it's hard to tolerate all this intolerance...


I say "ban the mayo"... and the dipshirts still put in on my tf laden burger... until we live in a country free of idiots who can't even make a sandwich right, what's the point???


Ban Mayonnaise now and it will be a "better" world...

Posted by: JAZZOLOGYMF | May 16, 2007 4:41 PM

People defending Trans Fats are ignorant. This not a food it is a chemical which was created to preserve food and was marketed as a healthier alternative than real foods on the market. It is not even a real food. Greasy fries are better when they are made with real grease.

Posted by: Greg L | May 16, 2007 4:51 PM

Hey Marc, is the above raw material for next week's Page 3?

How would you feel about a ban on Dippin' Dots?

Posted by: Mister Methane | May 16, 2007 4:58 PM

People defending Trans Fats are ignorant. This not a food it is a chemical which was created to preserve food and was marketed as a healthier alternative than real foods on the market. It is not even a real food. Greasy fries are better when they are made with real grease.


THANKS! Couldn't agree more-

lord

Posted by: lordoflogic | May 16, 2007 4:59 PM

"in this day and age the democrats and "liberals" have become more facist and contolling in government than the conservatives"

Oh REALLY? You mean it's NOT conservatives who want to control who you can marry? Or who you can even have sex with? Or what movies you can watch? Or what internet sites you can go to. Or if you're a woman, whether or not you make your own reproductive decisions? Or whether you can use marijuana to ease the suffering from your chemo?
Surely conservatives would never stand for government survellience of American citizens' emails/mail/phone calls. Of course not!
No, conservatives stand for freedom! Freedom for big business to rape our planet in the name of higher profits! Freedom to pollute! Freedom to price gouge! Freedom to poison us without our knowledge! Freedom to descriminate! Freedom to arm ourselves to the teeth!
Gee, I guess I got it all wrong...

Posted by: dan | May 16, 2007 5:01 PM

People defending Trans Fats are ignorant. This not a food it is a chemical which was created to preserve food and was marketed as a healthier alternative than real foods on the market. It is not even a real food. Greasy fries are better when they are made with real grease.


THANKS! Couldn't agree more- except trans fats are usually nothing more than regular fats which are processed with hydrogen to give them a longer shelf life- and a far unhealthier effect on your blood vessels and they don't taste nearly as good as real fat.

lord

Posted by: lordoflogic | May 16, 2007 5:02 PM

Y'all have made my afternoon. Thanks!

Posted by: jokr715 | May 16, 2007 5:05 PM

Sorry, Dot, our bad. FYI, Montgomery County is: (pick one)

1) An island of enlightenment, that does not exist in any one physical location but rather in a higher metaphysical realm of pure reason and insight, much as the Pantheon of Greek gods; or

2)An island of oppression, located somewhere between Cuba, East Germany, and the Gulag Archiepelago.

Either way, it is an island

Posted by: Socrates | May 16, 2007 5:06 PM

I thought this was the land of the free. We were taught to be responsible, who has the right to take that from us? Maybe we are becoming the old Russia soon we won't have any choices in our life. The USA is not what is it claimed to be. The land of the free.

Posted by: giveme a break | May 16, 2007 5:09 PM

For the author and all those who are railing against the "Nanny state" taking away your personal freedom to indulge in greasy food, let's look at the real intent, and hopefully positive effect, of a trans-fat ban. It doesn't put pressure on you, the individual consumer; rather, it pressures the manufacturers of low-priced packaged foods to stop using cheap but poisonous ingredients as a way of cutting costs.

Trans fat is what you get when you hydrogenate an otherwise innocuous oil. This is basically a process that converts the oil from liquid to solid. It's a cheap and easy substitute for lard or butter, and while some fast food places do indeed use it to fry things, it's mainly found in snack foods and baked goods that are meant to have a long shelf life. Cheap snacks like Twinkies and HoHos. And this law doesn't even address such pre-packaged foods; you can still buy your trans fat in the stores if you really want it.

Research shows that this artifically-solidified fat is worse for you than animal fat. Not only does it increase the "bad" cholesterol and lower the "good", it directly causes inflammation of the cardiovascular system. Putting this stuff in food is akin to that company in China putting plastics in pet food to cut costs. It causes harm.

A lot of restaurants in the area, including MoCo-based Marriott and Silver Diner have already taken trans fats off the menu. Other restaurants are following suit. This is a good example of market pressure. Restaurant-goers are voting with their forks. I'm not saying that market pressure won't help; it's just that legislation like this sends a zero-tolerance message to the corporations that run restaurants and bakeries. Mom and pop places, churches, and the like will be able to obtain waivers for pre-packaged foods; and I'd much rather see my local restaurants buying lard or vegetable oil than a giant vat of something produced in a factory.

Posted by: JB | May 16, 2007 5:15 PM

They should ban conservative free marketeer nutjobs. And give them a lifetime supply of partially hydroginated soybean oil.

Posted by: seanmuldy | May 16, 2007 5:15 PM

They should ban conservative free marketeer nutjobs. And give them a lifetime supply of partially hydroginated soybean oil.

Posted by: seanmuldy | May 16, 2007 5:15 PM

Trans Fat is on its way out anyway, they're just jumping on the bandwagon. Why don't they ban the real culprit that makes Americans end up obese. High Fructose Corn Syrup. Because the food industry would hire out contracts on them, that's why. HFCS blocks the system that tells us we're full. Why do you think a kid can eat the 20 piece McNugget, the supersized fry and the 44 oz. soda, but can only eat half a PB & J and a glass of milk? And HFCS is in just about EVERYTHING that's sweet. THAT'S what's killing us.
Smokings a none issue, if a business owner wants to allow smoking in his place, it's HIS business, let the customers go where they will. I'll spend 20 minutes in the closed garage with my smoking Montecristo cigar if a do-gooder who can't mind his own business will spend 20 minutes in his closed garage with the BMW idling away. Physics aren't allowed here, just like they aren't allowed in the smoking debate. Talk about the nanny mindset.
CT

Posted by: ChristopherT. | May 16, 2007 5:27 PM

Obesity is a choice, it is not a disease except in some cases where metabolic disorder is demonstrated by thyroid tests and such.

Sooner or later, people will have to choose to not expect government to supply everything, even food choices.

Then again, whatever. Americans have chosen to be sheep led by bureaucrats so they get what they deserve.

Posted by: Tim | May 16, 2007 5:33 PM

This is what the liberal mindset has done. With the next movement, the big green one, all you folks aspiring to own a fine car are about to be SOL. We're all about to live under bare flourescent bulbs because no one makes shaded fixtures for them yet, and just like a resteraunt chain got five guys to walk over the rights of the majority in Lexington KY and ban smoking, even in places set up for it, you're favorite vice is next. And they'll take your house and give to someone else as well. Way to go libs!
CT

Posted by: ChristopherT. | May 16, 2007 5:39 PM

Hasn't anyone noticed that Montgomery County in PA banned the fats and everyone is ranting about Montgomery County in MD.

Posted by: Bill53PSU | May 16, 2007 5:41 PM

"Please, do not come back with "studies show" because they don't in fact show. All smoking bans come from one person....Robert Wood Johnson."

BostonRay, you are just ADORABLE!

Posted by: Gene | May 16, 2007 5:53 PM

you can take my gun when you pry it from my cold dead hands!

Posted by: on topic | May 16, 2007 6:04 PM

Fortunately I don't live in MC, however I think that private insurance companies should charge employers who allow smoking in their establishments a much higher premium. These employers are failing to protect their staff/employees from second hand smoke. Play the game, pay the price. If the employer passes the higher premiums to the employees, they have the freedom to seek employment elsewhere. Afterall, medical care in privatized in this nation, let the employers foot the bill.

Posted by: DJ | May 16, 2007 6:13 PM

I like cheese

Posted by: Anonymous | May 16, 2007 6:22 PM

When the whole jihad against secondhand smoke was in its infancy, everyone was told that all anyone wanted to do was get smoke out of the confined spaces of airplanes. Remember that? Fast forward a couple of decades, note that smoking is banned in just about all indoor places, and NOW notice how many counties are trying to ban smoking outdoors, in movies, in cars, and if you have children - in your homes too. Slippery slope? Ya' think?

Is there any science to back up the claims that secondhand smoke actually causes any harm? Well, you be the judge. The link below will give you a synopsis of every SHS study ever done between the years of 1981 and 2006. If you already understand epidemiology, scroll down a bit to the tables which list every study and note what the vast majority actually say about the so-called SHS health hazard.

http://www.forces.org/evidence/study_list.htm

As you can see, smokER bans (and yes, that's what they are) are based on epidemiological fraud (a.k.a. junk science) funded by certain pharmaceutical companies who hope to shift the demand for nicotine from tobacco companies to themselves. The smokER bans that result from this "mountain of evidence" likewise enrich the non-profits who tirelessly fight for these bans - like the American Cancer Society, the American Lung Association and the whole alphabet soup of anti-smoking groups - because they also happen to receive their grant money from the pharmaceutical industry. Don't believe me? Well, in the infamous words of Rosie O'Donnell...Google It! But, whatever you do, just don't try pointing out these facts to the John Q. Publics who adore smoking bans, because many of them already know this stuff and are more than willing to strawman you into their next favorite and equally ridiculous argument that "smoking really stinks so it ought to be banned anyway." Yawn...

So, all of you who believe that transfat is just a tasteless, irrelelevant little substance that won't inconvenience anyone but a few greedy cooks and their corporate masters, take heed! Because so is bacon, salt, red meat, sugar, white flour and lots and lots of other foods that make headlines every day because of the same kind of "studies" that "prove" how harmful they are. And, next time you see one of those food-scare headlines, take a minute and actually read the associated "study" and not just its press release. While your out it, check out who's doing the funding and don't be too surprised to see that it's (you guessed it!) Big Pharma at it again.

Posted by: MDisScrewed | May 16, 2007 6:25 PM

Do you like cheese?

Posted by: Anonymous | May 16, 2007 6:48 PM

CHEESE IS YUMMY!

Posted by: Anonymous | May 16, 2007 7:01 PM

Has anyone noticed that this nimrod of a writer doesn't have his facts straight?

"Montgomery County, where only county-run stores can be trusted to sell liquor and where the county has tossed smokers out of bars and restaurants, is now the first county in the nation to ban trans fats."

This portion of his story links to Montgomery County.. but the Montgomery County that only allows county-run stores to sell liqour and banned smoking from bars and resturants is Montgomery County MARYLAND!!!! Montgomery County PA is the one that has banned Transfats.

Whatever this guy was PAID for writing this little quip should be returned promptly. He can't even fact check the first paragraph of his story thus the rest is just drivel.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 16, 2007 7:08 PM

Has anyone noticed that this pathetic excuse of a writer doesn't have his facts straight?

"Montgomery County, where only county-run stores can be trusted to sell liquor and where the county has tossed smokers out of bars and restaurants, is now the first county in the nation to ban trans fats."

This portion of his story links to Montgomery County.. but the Montgomery County that only allows county-run stores to sell liqour and banned smoking from bars and resturants is Montgomery County MARYLAND!!!! Montgomery County PA is the one that has banned Transfats.

Whatever this guy was PAID for writing this little quip should be returned promptly. He can't even fact check the first paragraph of his story thus the rest is just drivel.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 16, 2007 7:11 PM

too be excessively crazy i consider cellphones to be as bad as second hand smoke. there hasn't been a study on the long term effects on the human body due to cellphone (or wi-fi) transmissions-- for all we know its slowly driving everyone crazy.
on the flip side if the federal government does start towards socialized medicine maybe they should ban unhealthy food, I'm not going to pay for your poor health due to poor choices.

Posted by: hx | May 16, 2007 7:14 PM

Has anyone noticed that this nimrod of a writer doesn't have his facts straight?

"Montgomery County, where only county-run stores can be trusted to sell liquor and where the county has tossed smokers out of bars and restaurants, is now the first county in the nation to ban trans fats."

This portion of his story links to Montgomery County.. but the Montgomery County that only allows county-run stores to sell liqour and banned smoking from bars and resturants is Montgomery County MARYLAND!!!! Montgomery County PA is the one that has banned Transfats.

Whatever this guy was PAID for writing this little quip should be returned promptly. He can't even fact check the first paragraph of his story thus the rest is just drivel.

Is Fisher just that incompetent at writing or does he lie to impress his political agenda to his readership.

Posted by: MD or PA? | May 16, 2007 7:15 PM

Bring back CRISCO! The revolution has begun! Everyone must arm themselves with a cast iron skillet and a meat fork! Forward march!

Posted by: Fry Daddy | May 16, 2007 7:21 PM

Has anyone noticed that this nimrod of a writer doesn't have his facts straight?

"Montgomery County, where only county-run stores can be trusted to sell liquor and where the county has tossed smokers out of bars and restaurants, is now the first county in the nation to ban trans fats."

This portion of his story links to Montgomery County.. but the Montgomery County that only allows county-run stores to sell liqour and banned smoking from bars and resturants is Montgomery County MARYLAND!!!! Montgomery County PA is the one that has banned Transfats.

Whatever this guy was PAID for writing this little quip should be returned promptly. He can't even fact check the first paragraph of his story thus the rest is just drivel.

Is Fisher just that incompetent at writing or does he lie to impress his political agenda to his readership.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 16, 2007 7:25 PM

>yes, every single member of the council!--voted to take choices about what to eat away from consumers, cooks, and restaurant owners and place all authority in the hands of the bureaucrats.

How dare they! Next thing you know I won't be able to get peyote on my salad, or magic mushrooms on my pizza. What a dangerous precedent.

Posted by: Timothy Leary | May 16, 2007 8:05 PM

Yo, Dot, Montgomery County is in *, just like the Simpsons live in Springfield *. So what's happening in your well-bred region? A new yacht in the harbor? Or perhaps a new brand of moist towlette?

Posted by: Oh, the irony | May 16, 2007 8:10 PM

I'm not a republican or a democrat. I'm a dude. That being said, I tend to lean left on most issues. Or rather, I used to. Once, to be at the left end of the political spectrum meant that you understood and acknowledged everyone's right to live as they wish, as long as you weren't infringing on the rights of others.
The bullying, fascist, anti-gay,porn,drugs right wing of yesteryear has given way to the bullying, fascist health-enforcers of today. I am unconcerned with my health, and I, as a human being, am entitled to be so. If I died tomorrow, well, I had fun. Clearly, there is no "Correct" way to live your life, and the role of the govt is to protect the rights of its citizens, not to conceptualize a utopia and set to work creating it, not to kowtow to mobmentality. To suggest that a bar-owner cannot determine for him or herself what legal activities can take place in their establishment is a gross, infuriating infringement on that individual's rights. Just as this trans-fat nonsense is to any restaurant owner. Just as legislation preventing gay-marriage is a gross, infuriating infringement to the rights of homosexuals. If you dont like homosexuality, you're free not to engage in it. If you dont like establishments with smoking sections, you're free to patronize others. Its all the same.

Posted by: SickandTired | May 16, 2007 8:51 PM

I'm not a republican or a democrat. I'm a dude. That being said, I tend to lean left on most issues. Or rather, I used to. Once, to be at the left end of the political spectrum meant that you understood and acknowledged everyone's right to live as they wish, as long as you weren't infringing on the rights of others.
The bullying, fascist, anti-gay,porn,drugs right wing of yesteryear has given way to the bullying, fascist health-enforcers of today. I am unconcerned with my health, and I, as a human being, am entitled to be so. If I died tomorrow, well, I had fun. Clearly, there is no "Correct" way to live your life, and the role of the govt is to protect the rights of its citizens, not to conceptualize a utopia and set to work creating it, not to kowtow to mobmentality. To suggest that a bar-owner cannot determine for him or herself what legal activities can take place in their establishment is a gross, infuriating infringement on that individual's rights. Just as this trans-fat nonsense is to any restaurant owner. Just as legislation preventing gay-marriage is a gross, infuriating infringement to the rights of homosexuals. If you dont like homosexuality, you're free not to engage in it. If you dont like establishments with smoking sections (or trans-fats....pfft), you're free to patronize others. Its all the same.

Posted by: SickandTired | May 16, 2007 8:53 PM

Thank God I left MD 6 years ago! Should have left sooner. Ya'll enjoy your health police up there now, ya hear?

Posted by: moved! | May 16, 2007 10:34 PM

you can have my cheese when you pry it from my cold dead hands

Posted by: on topic | May 16, 2007 10:55 PM

I'd move out of that county real fast, and into a free one. In case we've all forgotten, legislators are not there to spout out health issues to the people, and when they do the scent of totalitarianism far outweighs the irritant which very few people find in cigarette smoke, which hurts no one and in some cases is good for people, such as delaying the onset of Alzheimers and Parkinsons.

Posted by: Harlow | May 17, 2007 8:10 AM

"People defending Trans Fats are ignorant."

We're not defending trans-fats; we're defending our right to eat whatever the heck we want, without inteference from the county government.

It is exactly parallel to the people who say "I'm personally opposed to abortion, but don't think the government has any business interfering in a decision that should be between a woman and her doctor."

And where ever you may fall on the question of abortion, you can't seriously claim that "to eat the donut, or to not eat the donut" is a more important moral issue.

Posted by: Demos | May 17, 2007 10:05 AM

In Soviet Russia, transfats ban you!

Posted by: Anonymous | May 17, 2007 11:14 AM

Oh Yeah? Well, in Soviet MoCo, we'll ban whatever we want :o

Posted by: Marching on.. | May 17, 2007 12:09 PM

Okay, I have your solution, my friends. Ban high cost housing, high cost education and high traffic. This will lead to a drop in stress because less people will feel the need to work themselves to death for pay that is not equal to the cost of living and cost of supplements to living such as transportation and education. Once the stress is decreased, less people will feel the need to self-medicate their stress with fattening foods, and will love themselves more, go to the gym, prepare healthy meals at home, and be good to their fellow man. You see, a problem must be attacked at the root and the seeds.

Posted by: A-Ha | May 17, 2007 1:12 PM

Why are some posters mistakenly blaming Fisher for reporting inaccurate information? It is, in fact, MoCo, MD, that has banned trans fats: http://www.montgomerycountymd.gov/Apps/Council/PressRelease/PR_details.asp?PrID=3556.

Posted by: kk | May 17, 2007 2:00 PM

I did not get a chance to respond to your discussion today but to clarify some things that people are confused about. Trans fats are man made. Butter is full of saturated fats but has no trans fats. You can read up on trans fats on the FDA website.

Posted by: tad | May 17, 2007 2:24 PM

MDisScrewed was very right on with his/her post. It's sad that Montgomery County has the stupidity to worry about the issue of trans-fats, when already, people should learn to educate themselves on which foods do contain trans-fat in them, and which don't, if some people are so worried about this issue. As it is, most chain restaurants, and I'm sure some independent restaurants, already do list what ingredients are in their food, if anyone is really that concerned about trans-fats.

And besides, the last time I checked, shouldn't other products that are more unhealthy to digest than trans-fats be banned, if trans-fats are THAT bad for people to consume? Banning trans-fats will NOT eliminate the problems of cholesterol, saturated fats, or other unhealthy byproducts of food, that will still be in many types of food.

And don't get me started on how unhealthy high fructose corn syrup is, contained in many drinks and sodas that are made by beverage companies!

At least since the People's Republic of Montgomery County, MD continue their slippery slope of overregulating people's lives, I know one place NOT to ever move to.

Posted by: Allan | May 18, 2007 6:46 PM

I don't understand what Fisher's problem is. Day in and day out, we hear from him how so-called *progressives* like those on the MoCo Council are the sort of *right-thinkers* who should be running everybody's show. Well, what's the problem, Fisher? We in MD got what YOU asked for.

Posted by: K-Romulus | May 18, 2007 9:39 PM

They've already banned raids by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), so we can rule that out as a future ban.

Maybe they'll ban American flags next.

Posted by: Gonzalo | May 20, 2007 11:23 PM

I don't disagree that a trans-fat ban is silly, but to say:

"...a ban on trans fats--very much like the smoking ban, which utterly ignores the fact that the marketplace is effectively reducing smoking in public gathering spots as well as smoking behavior overall--elbows the natural forces of the marketplace out of the way..."

This is nonsense. Before the smoking ban, smoking was quite commonplace regardless of the fact that smoking overall and across the country had been declining. When will the "natural" forces of the market elbow smoking out of bars and restuarants? 50 years? 100 years? Sorry, but MoCo wanted a healthy environment NOW, and that is fine by me.

And by the way, it's fine by restuarant owners too considering they make money hand over fist regardless of the smoking ban. Their "economic critique" of the ban holds no water. LOL @ them.

Posted by: Dan | May 22, 2007 11:53 AM

Another thing: I really wish people would state where they're from.

Montgomery County is a fabulous county, with excellent services. I grew up there, but now live in PG county where the services suck, and there is a general feeling of malaise. Plus property taxes are higher here than in MoCo.

Fact of the matter is: MoCo is just fine as a community. Maybe the Council is a bit heavy-handed, but if you don't like them, vote them out.

Posted by: Dan | May 22, 2007 12:01 PM

Wow. If you're going to cite scientific research to support your arguments, you should make more of an effort to understand what you're citing. You said: "Never mind that naturally occurring trans fats may help prevent cancer, according to research at Cornell University." Hello? First, these naturally occurring fatty acids are different from the ones used in food processing. Two, the levels of these fatty acids were not natural. They were artifically elevated in test foods to see what effect they had in animals. Third, they were tested in animals, not people. There's no credible evidence that these artificially inflated levels of different trans fatty acids have any effect on cancer in people.

Posted by: David Schardt | May 23, 2007 12:18 AM

No no no, let them keep banning things. It will push people over the edge and start a war. Riots in the streets. That is what these people want so lets just let them ban it all till someone goes off THEN The fun really begins.

Posted by: Unga | June 13, 2007 7:19 PM

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 

© 2010 The Washington Post Company