Yesterday the Montgomery County (MD) Council passed a unanimous ban on trans fat and the local restaurants will be the ones to suffer for the dramatic changes they will be forced to make. The Council divided trans fat into two categories: fried foods and baked goods. The deadline for removal of fried foods is 2008 since a “suitable” replacement has already been found. Since no such substitute has been found for baked goods, the Council decided to allow an extra year for implementation of the ban. In an additional layer, the Council is allowing restaurants who are unable to meet the initial deadline to apply for an extension until 2010 but, in the meantime they are required to place a sign in the window notifying the public that they are cooking with trans fat. Montgomery County, MD Council member George Leventhal said, “”The sign will alert customers that what the place is selling could be injurious to their health. That’s not a great incentive to dine there.”
Amanda Kathryn Hydro is the Director of Policy Development at Reason Foundation, a nonprofit think tank advancing free minds and free markets.