California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger today signed legislation that will phase out the use of trans fats in food preparation in all state restaurants beginning in 2010, making California the first state to pass such a law.
In a news release issued today, the Office of the Governor declared that "scientific evidence demonstrates a strong association between the consumption of artificial trans fat and the development of coronary heart disease and stroke, as well as other chronic conditions such as diabetes." The news release cited New England Journal of Medicine findings indicating that the elimination of trans fats could prevent between six and 19 percent of heart attacks and related deaths annually. The San Francisco Chronicle reports that the new California law "will take effect Jan, 1, 2010, for oil, shortening and margarine used in spreads or for frying. Restaurants could continue using trans fats to deep fry yeast dough and in cake batter until Jan. 1, 2011."