Ayn Rand Institute Press Release
Don't Ban Trans Fats
August 1, 2008
Irvine, CA--California recently became the first state to ban trans fats. Praising the ban, Governor Schwarzenegger issued a statement saying, "California is a leader in promoting health and nutrition, and I am pleased to continue that tradition by being the first state in the nation to phase out trans fats. Consuming trans fat is linked to coronary heart disease, and today we are taking a strong step toward creating a healthier future for California."
But according to Yaron Brook, executive director of the Ayn Rand Institute, "This ban is really just an instance of nanny state paternalism. Keeping healthy should be the individual's responsibility.
"To the extent trans fats pose a real threat, these bans are unnecessary. No one is forced to consume trans fats and, indeed, under pressure from consumers, many food makers have voluntarily stopped using them.
"The fact that some people will choose an unhealthy lifestyle is no justification for dictating what the rest of us can and can't eat. Individuals have a right to decide for themselves whether and how much trans fats are safe to eat--and they, in consultation with their doctors, are perfectly able to do so. But under the ban, those who occasionally enjoy the cheaper, tastier, longer-lasting foods trans fats make possible are being unjustly punished--along with the food industry--to protect the irrational from themselves.
"Instead of trying to 'lead the nation in fostering health' at the point of a gun, California should lead the nation in advancing individual responsibility and individual freedom. A good place to start would be rescinding the trans fats ban."
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