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Author Topic: Trans fats ban hits New York City
Towknie
We Three Blings


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Hah! And so it begins! I get to sit back and watch other people's health vices get legislated out! This will be great fun! I'm waiting for HFCS and soft drinks to be next on the chopping block.

Tow "16 days without cigarettes because the government has legislated me into health" knie

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Towknie: Ryda-certified as wonderful, enlighted, and rational.

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glass papaya
Jingle Bell Hock


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Regular Crisco and Butter Flavor Crisco have trans fats. New Crisco does not.
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Towknie
We Three Blings


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quote:
Originally posted by erinker74:
As a fattie myself, I don't think "teaching" is a solution simply because most of us know what we should and shouldn't eat; it's not ignorance. Many times (but not all) it is an addiction, no different than alcoholism or drug abuse. I think we could take strides toward fixing the obesity problem if we started treating it as an addiciton and not a character flaw.

Sure would be nice if the world saw smokers this way. But the modern day solution seems to be for those who don't partake of a given vice to shun and legislate out those who do. It's all about money. People don't really care if I smoke myself to death, they care that my smoking will increase their health care cost. Same logic will apply for obesity. Don't start looking for any realistic definitions of addiction just because the pendulum is starting to swing from smoke to food.

Tow "Still 16 days without cigarettes" knie

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Towknie: Ryda-certified as wonderful, enlighted, and rational.

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Il-Mari
We Three Blings


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quote:
Originally posted by Rhiandmoi:
Crisco is trans fat isn't it? I mean it is partially hydrogenated vegetable oil in a can right? Or have they changed their formulation?

I think they still sell the original version too, but for a couple of years they've also sold a version with no trans fats (since in those batches they fully hydrogenate the oil instead of just partially hydrogenating it, which in the original made trans fats).

- Il-Mari

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When you mix faith with science, you serve neither and weaken both.

- Richard P. Sloan and Larry VandeCreek

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LeaflessMapleTree
The twelve shopping days 'til Christmas


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Yep. I've been using the one in Rhi's link's picture. (Not that I use shortening that often in the first place, though)

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"For me, religion is like a rhinoceros: I don't have one, and I'd really prefer not to be trampled by yours. But it is impressive, and even beautiful, and, to be honest, the world would be slightly worse off if there weren't any."
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Unusual Elfin Lights
Happy Xmas (Warranty Is Over)


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quote:
Originally posted by Rhiandmoi:
Crisco is trans fat isn't it? I mean it is partially hydrogenated vegetable oil in a can right? Or have they changed their formulation?

According to their timeline, they changed the formula in 2004. Or at least they introduced a new version then.

ETA: spent too much time reading the thread. Spanked.

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Rebochan the Retail Reindeer
Good King Wal-Mart


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Townkie, did you just not read the thread? Your arguments have been addressed.

--------------------
"One original thought is worth a thousand mindless quotings." -- Diogenes

"Vote Republican! We won't burn you at the stake for your religious beliefs or slaughter your family and steal your land." -- Ramblin' Dave

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Methuselah
Happy Holly Days


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quote:
Originally posted by Elkhound:
quote:
Originally posted by Methuselah:
quote:
Originally posted by erinker74:
To me, this is too much "Big Brother Knows What's Best For You".

Like when the FDA bans certain chemical additives because studies show them to be carcinogenic?
Flawed, inaccurate, and misleading studies? (Remember cyclamates?)
No. Not the flawed, inaccurate, and misleading studies. The studies that show correlations between a specific substance and a higher incidence of specific cancers or other maladies. Such has been the case with substances like Safrole, Calamus, and others.

But beyond that, are we really suffering because we don't have cyclamates in our Sweet & Low? Abbott Labs certainly didn't go out of business, and we certainly aren't lacking for artificial sweetners.

Honestly this Libertarian attitude of "it shouldn't be regulated, if people don't want it they just shouldn't buy it and the market will take care of itself" simply doesn't work in all cases. I don't have time to research every single food additive and preservative. I would rather have a government agency oversee these things so that I don't have to spend an additional three hours in the grocery store comparing the label to every chemical guide and medical journal that I can get my hands on.

And I also prefer having that government agency be more on the safe side when considering what things can and can't go into foods. I'm a conscientious consumer. I belong to a local co-op, and I eat a significant amount of organic foods. But from a practical standpoint, I need food that can be stored, as well. I like that there is government oversight of what goes in that food.

I don't understand this panic that people have, thinking that "big brother" is going to come in to their house and pull the Ding Dongs and Snowballs out of their pantry.

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"The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him." - G.K. Chesterton

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Towknie
We Three Blings


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quote:
Originally posted by Rebochan the Retail Reindeer:
Townkie, did you just not read the thread? Your arguments have been addressed.

I read the thread. My first post was being facetiously celebratory, my second was merely restating that I think society at large is taking an entirely wrong view towards things that could be considered public health issues.

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Towknie: Ryda-certified as wonderful, enlighted, and rational.

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BringTheNoise
Xboxing Day


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quote:
Originally posted by Elkhound:
quote:
Originally posted by Methuselah:
quote:
Originally posted by erinker74:
To me, this is too much "Big Brother Knows What's Best For You".

Like when the FDA bans certain chemical additives because studies show them to be carcinogenic?
Flawed, inaccurate, and misleading studies? (Remember cyclamates?)
I'd rather they banned them now and reviewed them when/if new evidence comes to light. Rather safe than sorry.

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"The United States Government: significantly less cruel and sadistic than the Taliban." - Dara

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Mickey Blue
Let There Be PCs on Earth


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quote:
I read the thread. My first post was being facetiously celebratory, my second was merely restating that I think society at large is taking an entirely wrong view towards things that could be considered public health issues.
So what foods are you concerned will disappear or become banned in restaurants as a result of a trans fat ban?

Its just a corporate cheap-o fake version of regular fat, but people who are uninformed to the issues take it as "They're trying to take away my donuts/chips/soda/etc!!!11!1!!!".. Sorry but no, they are only saying that an ingredient that has been suggested to be dangerous should be replaced by the natural version that has been used in cooking for years.


As for "big brother".. Others have said it but the FDA bans unsafe or potentially unsafe products/ingredients all the time, this is just one that has the word "fat" in it instead of some long chemical name, and as such people speak up with less information.

Me personally? I cannot tell the difference between the trans-fat free foods in the supermarket and the non-trans fat free ones..

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"All people are responsible for the good that they didn't do"

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keokuk
Deck the Malls


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quote:
Originally posted by Mickey Blue:
As for "big brother".. Others have said it but the FDA bans unsafe or potentially unsafe products/ingredients all the time, this is just one that has the word "fat" in it instead of some long chemical name, and as such people speak up with less information.

Meanwhile, we're still waiting for the FDA to ban dihydrogen monoxide.
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Pogue Ma-humbug
Happy Christmas (Malls are Open)


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quote:
Originally posted by erinker74:
I am not dismissing the fact that trans-fats are bad, or even that there is any difference in taste. I question the need for legislation.

But lots of food additives that have been shown to be harmful have been banned. Why is this any different?

Pogue

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Let's drink to the causes in your life:
Your family, your friends, the union, your wife.

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Towknie
We Three Blings


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quote:
Originally posted by Mickey Blue:
So what foods are you concerned will disappear or become banned in restaurants as a result of a trans fat ban?

No concerns here whatsoever. I haven't eaten transfat for a long, long time. Without the cigarettes, I'm legislation proof now. Don't eat trans fat, don't smoke, don't drink caffeine, don't consume HFCS, no artificial sweeteners or sugar, work out to the point of unconsciousness every evening, etc. etc. etc.

I'm just sitting in the grandstands watching all of this. While I agree that transfat is totally unnecessary, even in the most decadent of foods, I enjoy watching those who so vehemently wagged their fingers at me and my cigarettes squirm a little bit.

Just a little unPC schadenfreude on my part.

--------------------
Towknie: Ryda-certified as wonderful, enlighted, and rational.

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erinker74
Deck the Malls


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quote:
Originally posted by Towknie:
quote:
Originally posted by erinker74:
As a fattie myself, I don't think "teaching" is a solution simply because most of us know what we should and shouldn't eat; it's not ignorance. Many times (but not all) it is an addiction, no different than alcoholism or drug abuse. I think we could take strides toward fixing the obesity problem if we started treating it as an addiciton and not a character flaw.

Sure would be nice if the world saw smokers this way. But the modern day solution seems to be for those who don't partake of a given vice to shun and legislate out those who do. It's all about money. People don't really care if I smoke myself to death, they care that my smoking will increase their health care cost. Same logic will apply for obesity. Don't start looking for any realistic definitions of addiction just because the pendulum is starting to swing from smoke to food.

Tow "Still 16 days without cigarettes" knie


I couldn't agree with you more. And I don't think it is right when it is done to smokers, either. I am not a smoker, but I am a supporter of personal choice. And I don't mind my healthcare premiums paying for your lung treatments or a sun worshipper's skin cancer treatments or the head injuries of a motorcycle rider who rides without a helmet or treatment for obesity. And since the ailments insurance companies cover is decreasing while premiuims are increasing, I am not sure there is a correlation anyway. My uneducated guess is that our premiums would helped a lot more by cleaning up corruption and demanding accountability and transperency than shutting out fatties and smokers.

But it seems like the general consensus is that smoking and obesity are the root of all health evils. Dependence on nicotine or fatty foods means you are weak, personally flawed, and ill-informed. Addictions to anything else means you are "sick".

That may be a bit of a hijack and for that I apologize. But it seems to me like this is a knee-jerk reaction to the Fat Movement. There are a lot of things that are horrible for your long-term health that are still perfectly legal, including many products approved by the FDA. I don't think I need to even mention the disasters they have approved in recent years. And I noticed there is no move by the government to ban tanning beds or tanning accelerators to increase UV sun exposure.

And I am not sure I am comfortable with the comparison of trans fat to arsenic. Is trans fat horribly unhealthy? Of course it is. Can it kill you with enough exposure over time? Yes. But the same can be said for nicotine, alcohol, UV rays, unprotected sex with multiple partners, saturated fat, sodium, Vioxx... the list goes on and on.

And by the way, Towknie - congratulations on 16 days smoke-free!

ETA: And by the way, I am getting a little annoyed at the insinuation that I (and others who question this) am an ill-informed idiot because I am skeptical. All I am doing is looking at a larger picture. Maybe you don't think the larger picture applies here, and you may be right, but please stop implying I am stupid.

--------------------
"I bet a funny thing about driving a car off a cliff is, while you're in midair,
you still hit those brakes. Hey, better try the emergency brake." -Deep Thoughts by Jack Handey

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BringTheNoise
Xboxing Day


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There is no safe level of trans-fat or cigarette consumption. There is a safe level of UV exposure (or alcohol consumption, and the others you mentioned). That's the key difference.

--------------------
"The United States Government: significantly less cruel and sadistic than the Taliban." - Dara

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erinker74
Deck the Malls


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quote:
Originally posted by BringTheNoise:
There is no safe level of trans-fat or cigarette consumption. There is a safe level of UV exposure (or alcohol consumption, and the others you mentioned). That's the key difference.

Then I suppose our definitions of "safe" are different.

--------------------
"I bet a funny thing about driving a car off a cliff is, while you're in midair,
you still hit those brakes. Hey, better try the emergency brake." -Deep Thoughts by Jack Handey

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Il-Mari
We Three Blings


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I'm curious erinker74; is there any product or component thereof that you DO think that the government SHOULD be able to legislate out of use.

Should it still be legal to make and use lead paints?

How about allowing widespread use of asbestos?

What about allowing tapeworms to be marketed as a weight-loss solution?

Do you draw the line at some point, or do you think that companies should be able to sell whatever they want to the public, regardless of how lethal it is to the user, and just let the market sort things out?

- Il-Mari

--------------------
When you mix faith with science, you serve neither and weaken both.

- Richard P. Sloan and Larry VandeCreek

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BringTheNoise
Xboxing Day


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quote:
Originally posted by erinker74:
quote:
Originally posted by BringTheNoise:
There is no safe level of trans-fat or cigarette consumption. There is a safe level of UV exposure (or alcohol consumption, and the others you mentioned). That's the key difference.

Then I suppose our definitions of "safe" are different.
It would appear so. Every time you have a cigarette or eat some trans-fat, that has a negative effect on your health. If I go for a walk in the sun or have a single pint of beer, that is not so.

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"The United States Government: significantly less cruel and sadistic than the Taliban." - Dara

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erinker74
Deck the Malls


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quote:
Originally posted by Il-Mari:
I'm curious erinker74; is there any product or component thereof that you DO think that the government SHOULD be able to legislate out of use.

Should it still be legal to make and use lead paints?

How about allowing widespread use of asbestos?

What about allowing tapeworms to be marketed as a weight-loss solution?

Do you draw the line at some point, or do you think that companies should be able to sell whatever they want to the public, regardless of how lethal it is to the user, and just let the market sort things out?

- Il-Mari

Of course I think there should be legislation to some degree. And no I don't think people should be able to sell anything they want. But there is a real inconsistency and hypocrisy when it comes to fat and smoke, and I suppose that is where my primary objection lies. Maybe I see it more because I belong to one of the targeted groups, and I am displaying a knee-jerk defensive reaction to that. Or maybe I am just bitter at all the chronically-bronzed beauties who wag their fingers at me when I eat fries because it is "so unhealthy" while slathering themselves up for the UV stir-fry.

Maybe I am incapable of being objective on this topic. It's certainly possible.

--------------------
"I bet a funny thing about driving a car off a cliff is, while you're in midair,
you still hit those brakes. Hey, better try the emergency brake." -Deep Thoughts by Jack Handey

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Rebochan the Retail Reindeer
Good King Wal-Mart


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But erinker74, banning trans fats isn't an attack on fries or even overweight people. It's an attack on a harmful cooking process that has hurt people dramatically and will hurt people regardless of their weight.

Townkie - I'm for the smoking bans too. So I wasn't really squirming over the trans fats thing either, especially because it's a much simpler fight over a cooking process rather than an entire institution.

--------------------
"One original thought is worth a thousand mindless quotings." -- Diogenes

"Vote Republican! We won't burn you at the stake for your religious beliefs or slaughter your family and steal your land." -- Ramblin' Dave

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Errata
Happy Xmas (Warranty Is Over)


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quote:
Originally posted by erinker74:
And I am not sure I am comfortable with the comparison of trans fat to arsenic. Is trans fat horribly unhealthy? Of course it is. Can it kill you with enough exposure over time? Yes. But the same can be said for nicotine, alcohol, UV rays, unprotected sex with multiple partners, saturated fat, sodium, Vioxx... the list goes on and on.

ETA: And by the way, I am getting a little annoyed at the insinuation that I (and others who question this) am an ill-informed idiot because I am skeptical. All I am doing is looking at a larger picture. Maybe you don't think the larger picture applies here, and you may be right, but please stop implying I am stupid.

I'm saying you come across as ill-informed (not stupid, but perhaps not objective) on the issue because you think trans fat is comparable to alcohol, UV rays, unsafe sex, saturated fat, or sodium (and to a lesser extent nicotene). All of those things are dangerous, and in fact some of them are MORE dangerous than trans fat. But the crucial difference is that all of those things can be pleasurable and serve some purpose at least to some people (even if others think its not worth it).

The reason that trans fat isn't like any of those things is that it doesn't serve such a purpose. You can make anything at all without it, so you lose nothing. Obviously you can, since it was only invented recently, and people have been enjoying delicious and indulgent and fatty treats since time immemorial. The only thing you lose are the few pennies premium it costs to use real food instead.

Thats why its better to compare it to arsenic than to alcohol. Alcohol is something that some people will choose to indulge in knowing the risks, for the sake of the pleasures. Trans fat is not something that an educated person would choose, since it offers no benefits over the alternatives. Its not a matter of whether its worth the tradeoff, there are literally no positives to consider unless you are uneducated about the alternatives. Similar to consuming small amounts of arsenic, its all downside and no upside. People should be free to choose their vices if there is an upside (even if most people think that its not worth the tradeoff), but when there are no upsides, then I think its reasonable for the FDA to regulate it away, because it really won't be missed.

I think a lot of people are reacting emotionally to the word "fat" (as Mickey Blue has suggested). If it was some obscure chemical name that you didn't recognize, you wouldn't have such an issue with it. And it deserves an obscure chemical name because thats what it is, not some food substance we find in more than trace amounts in nature. Fat isn't being banned, just this particular industrial chemical brew that happens to have fat in the name.

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erinker74
Deck the Malls


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I understand that FAT as a whole is not being banned. I understand that all things can be made without it. Perhaps I am being emotional and unobjective, but I am not uninformed. I understand everything everyone on here is saying. I really, really do.

And the "uspide" of trans fat is money. I am not saying I think that is a reasonable upside to something dangerous but I don't think browner skin is a reasonable "upside" to skin cancer, either. Nor am I suggesting money is a reason it should stay legal - but that is the "upside".

This is making me far more upset than a BB should and I feel like a poser. I will leave this discussion to those far more intelligent than me.

--------------------
"I bet a funny thing about driving a car off a cliff is, while you're in midair,
you still hit those brakes. Hey, better try the emergency brake." -Deep Thoughts by Jack Handey

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Errata
Happy Xmas (Warranty Is Over)


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Yes, the upside is saving a few pennies. Thats also the upside of using lead in paint and allowing poisons as preservatives. We're not talking about a big difference here, its something a first world country can absorb without even noticing. The FDA exists so that manufacturers won't take those kinds of shortcuts. The only reason that manufacturers can get away with them in the first place is that enough people don't know better. No consumers are going to be missing those pennies, not the way that some people enjoy all the other things listed.
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Paulie Jay
O Little Down-Payment of Bethlehem


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How about this then. Instead of banning trans fat, why doesn’t the government put an excise on it – say $5 per litre. It would still be legally available for those who could afford it, but in reality the usage would plummet (achieving the health aims), and at the same time no one would have to get their knickers in a twist about the nanny-state.

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All the way with Paulie Jay

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Il-Mari
We Three Blings


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quote:
Originally posted by Paulie Jay:
How about this then. Instead of banning trans fat, why doesn’t the government put an excise on it – say $5 per litre. It would still be legally available for those who could afford it, but in reality the usage would plummet (achieving the health aims), and at the same time no one would have to get their knickers in a twist about the nanny-state.

Perhaps, but I frankly think that it's more difficult to tax it then it is to ban it on a political level.

While people may object to the substance being banned, if they were to tax it it would not only be more complicated from a legislative point of view, but would also cause everyone involved to be seen as 'tax-raisers' by their political enemies (and used against them in all future political campaigns they may be involved in).

Anyway, that's my take on it, and I'm sticking to it!

- Il-Mari

--------------------
When you mix faith with science, you serve neither and weaken both.

- Richard P. Sloan and Larry VandeCreek

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Errata
Happy Xmas (Warranty Is Over)


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I agree with Il-Mari. A heavy tax would mostly solve the problem, but it would be even less politically popular, so why bother. It just gives people who want to oppose it more leverage to influence the majority who don't have a well informed opinion. As a whole, people tend not to rally behind the idea of using taxes as a way to discourage something. When there is no good reason for something at all, a flat out ban is just easier all around. A "sin tax" makes more sense on things like alcohol, tobacco, gasoline, as a way to moderate consumption without banning it, but with trans fats there is no justification for using it in moderation.
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El Camino
We Three Blings


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quote:
Originally posted by BringTheNoise:
quote:
Originally posted by erinker74:
quote:
Originally posted by BringTheNoise:
There is no safe level of trans-fat or cigarette consumption. There is a safe level of UV exposure (or alcohol consumption, and the others you mentioned). That's the key difference.

Then I suppose our definitions of "safe" are different.
It would appear so. Every time you have a cigarette or eat some trans-fat, that has a negative effect on your health. If I go for a walk in the sun or have a single pint of beer, that is not so.
That's simply not true. Ethanol is a toxin. It has incrementally small negative effects on your health, whether you like it or not. You think your liver likes having to break down that toxin? Or your brain cells like being bombarded with it?

Sure, they effects of the drinking habits you descibed are minimal. But so are those of smoking a few cigarettes or eating a few grams of trans fats. Basically, all are negligible.

I've smoked thirty cigarretes in my life. How much do you think that's taking off my life expectancy? Or eating a bag of chips back when they had trans-fats?

Your argument is silly. There are even safe levels of the most deadly toxins.


(The sun is different, because at low levels additional sun exposure actually has health benefits.)

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El Camino
We Three Blings


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quote:
Originally posted by reflex:
If they'd only ban HFCS...then I'd be happy!

There's absolutely no good reason to ban high fructose corn syrup. All the buzz in the news is just fluff. Cane sugar, sucrose, is absorbed in the human body as being 50% fructose and 50% glucose. High fructose corn syrup is either 42% or 55% fructose - the lower content is used for most purposes, while the higher is used for soft drinks.

As you can see, the fructose content of high fructose corn syrup is not significantly higher than that of cane sugar, it is only higher than regular corn syrup.

The fuss about high fructose corn syrup aggrevates me to no end, because it's just a case of the media picking up a story that has little scientific basis yet will put a good scare into the masses - thus making for good news.

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Methuselah
Happy Holly Days


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quote:
Originally posted by El Camino:
quote:
Originally posted by BringTheNoise:
quote:
Originally posted by erinker74:
quote:
Originally posted by BringTheNoise:
There is no safe level of trans-fat or cigarette consumption. There is a safe level of UV exposure (or alcohol consumption, and the others you mentioned). That's the key difference.

Then I suppose our definitions of "safe" are different.
It would appear so. Every time you have a cigarette or eat some trans-fat, that has a negative effect on your health. If I go for a walk in the sun or have a single pint of beer, that is not so.
That's simply not true. Ethanol is a toxin. It has incrementally small negative effects on your health, whether you like it or not. You think your liver likes having to break down that toxin? Or your brain cells like being bombarded with it?

Multiple studies have shown clear, positive health benefits of consuming small and moderate amounts of certain alcoholic beverages. This is not the case with trans-fats or cigarettes.

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"The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him." - G.K. Chesterton

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Elkhound
It Came Upon a Midnight Clearance


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Perhaps we should all invest in Canola and olive oil futures?

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"The bicycle is the most civilized conveyance known to man. Other forms of transport grow daily more nightmarish. Only the bicycle remains pure in heart."--Iris Murdoch

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El Camino
We Three Blings


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quote:
Originally posted by Methusalah:
Multiple studies have shown clear, positive health benefits of consuming small and moderate amounts of certain alcoholic beverages. This is not the case with trans-fats or cigarettes.

That's pretty much true. However, the health benefits have nothing to do with the alcoholic content of the beverages, but other things present (namely anti-oxidants). Most likely, drinking red grape juice would be just as good for you, if not better, than drinking red wine.

The positive health benefits are basically seperate from the negative effects of ethanol toxicity. The negative effects are here so minimal that they can be masked by the benefits of antioxidant addition. My point is, that there are levels of smoking and trans fat consumption that also have such minimally small negative effects. (Besides, I'm pretty sure that back in the day a bunch of tobacco company scientists found health benefits of smoking. Sure, there science is suspect due to conflicting interest, but it's still there.)

The problem is very few people consume such a low amount of cigarettes due to addiction problems. And with trans fats, they were so omnipresent in foods that they were hard to avoid, and so people were consuming high levels of them too.

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Methuselah
Happy Holly Days


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quote:
Originally posted by El Camino:
The problem is very few people consume such a low amount of cigarettes due to addiction problems. And with trans fats, they were so omnipresent in foods that they were hard to avoid, and so people were consuming high levels of them too.

Right...hence the necessity to strictly regulate and/or ban those substances. Trans fats are unnecessary and unhealthy, and yet they were so prevalent they were hard to avoid. Sounds like a good reason for legislative intervention.

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"The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him." - G.K. Chesterton

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Rhiandmoi
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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quote:
Originally posted by El Camino:
quote:
Originally posted by reflex:
If they'd only ban HFCS...then I'd be happy!

There's absolutely no good reason to ban high fructose corn syrup.
Except that it tastes nasty. I am also in favor of a ban on Celery and Celery Products.

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I think that hyperbole is the single greatest factor contributing to the decline of society. - My friend Pat.

What is .02 worth?

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El Camino
We Three Blings


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I actually agree. Although this may not be actually due to the corn syrup / cane sugar, I find sodas sweetened with cane sugar (like Boylan's) to taste much better than those sweetened with corn syrup. But it could just be because those tend to be niche-market brands, which tend to put out a higher quality product.
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