Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger is not only making California green, he's making it healthier, too. By signing a law today, he has made California the first state to ban trans fats
from restaurants and food facilities. The bill was authored by Tony Mendoza, a Democrat representing Artesia in Los Angeles County. Under his writing, professional cooks are now required to eliminate all ingredients that contain more than .5 grams of artificial fat or face fines up to $25,000 for each offense. This must be completed by 2010.
Trans fats are said to be responsible for increasing levels of bad cholesterol and decreasing good cholesterol since they are artificial. Trans fats are used to make cooking oils last longer on the shelf and changes their texture.
"As a former fourth grade school teacher in east L.A, I saw first hand the problems of obesity," Mendoza said. "AB 97 is culmination of these concerns and works to benefit the well being of kids and California."
Although the California Restaurant Association initially opposed the idea due to the expense of replacing the ingredients, they agreed in the end because of the lengthy amount of time they have to comply with the regulation.
Cities such as New York and Philadelphia have already imposed such laws, but California is the first state to do so. Mendoza is hoping that the trend continues.
"It is catching on, ever since last year when we introduced it (the bill). Now that it's law in California, I think it's really going to move."