In our opinion: Trans fat ban not a sign the 'nanny state' is taking over


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  • RedShirt USS Enterprise, UT
    Nov. 20, 2013 7:40 a.m.

    To "riverofsun" that is easy to explain. At the end of the 1960's the government began teaching what it thought was good nutrition.

  • riverofsun St.George, Utah
    Nov. 19, 2013 10:59 p.m.

    There are so many obese people now. In the 1950's and 1960's, these unfortunate and frequently unhealthy people were few and far between.
    What has happened to our society that explains the rise?
    Unhealthy food and unhealthy lifestyles.

  • bufffalobob2 poulsbo, WA
    Nov. 19, 2013 8:07 p.m.

    A fundamental objective of government is to promote the general health and welfare of the populace- this is not what the founders had in mind when they made this statement in the preamble. a friend said this better than i can "The government as the Constitution was originally conceived was to promote the general welfare by providing us with a framework upon which to make and enforce laws that would secure to every person their rights as guaranteed in the Declaration an Bill of Rights. THAT promotes the general welfare. To use this clause for anything beyond that is to violate the Founders intent. " -- nanny state or not, this sort of activity is a clear over reach of constitutionally delegated powers - the government can advise all it wants, but when it regulates that which is not delegated top it in the constitution, it is out of line.

  • Semi-Strong Louisville, KY
    Nov. 19, 2013 12:37 p.m.

    The real question is not whether we should be allowed to eat Trans Fats (as if we were somehow being being robbed of a basic right to do so), but whether these should have been allowed into the food stream in the first place (that is, were they sufficiently safe to be considered as food)? If not, then the answer is their approval to be part of the food stream should be revoked - just as we would for a bad chemical in our pharmaceuticals.

    These came into the food stream with little examination. If that examination was flawed and if a full consideration should have disallowed them, then they should be disallowed now. Our prior usage of them would then be a mistake and arguing that a mistake should not be corrected would seem appropriately bizarre. If folks truly love them, they are free to make them at home and consume them to their delight. But food manufacturers should not be using unsafe substances.

    Nov. 19, 2013 11:18 a.m.

    Trans fats are a type of unsaturated fat which is uncommon in nature but can be created artificially. - definition

    Why do you want to be "allowed" to eat that? Actually, if you really want to eat it, you can still do so in the privacy of your own home. It's not illegal.

    The fast food industry used it and never told us they were using it. We did not have a choice about what we ate. Most sane people, if given a choice, would prefer to not eat it. The industry has pretty much stopped using it; now they can't start agin.

    Again, why do you want to eat this stuff?

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Nov. 19, 2013 8:38 a.m.

    Years ago when warning about the Nanny-State I used to say, "someday the government will be telling you what you can eat, what you MUST eat, what you must buy, what you must not buy, etc"... well that day is here, so using those examples doesn't work anymore, because it's reality now, not a prediction.

    Back then I used to use some other logical predictions the nanny-State will fairly eventually lead to (some intended, others unintended consequences).

    Someday we can look forward to...
    Governments (DFS) taking children away from their parents if they don't give them the government approved vitamin pills (because it's "Child Abuse"), or if you don't feed them the government approved diet (like Michelle Obama's recent diet mandates). Parents have actually been charged with which child abuse for sending their child to school with a turkey sandwich (because it didn't have enough fruits/vegetables).

    The diet Nazi's are incrementally taking control away from you and codifying your allowed decisions into legislation. IMO the left needs to step back and let the people make their own choices (good or bad) and suffer the consequences (good or bad).

  • Unreconstructed Reb Chantilly, VA
    Nov. 18, 2013 7:33 p.m.

    "Make no mistake, liberals really ARE out to control us in every way possible. Their snarky, dismissive rants in these columns clearly demonstrate as much. Liberal hubris is such that they believe only they and their fellow liberals should make decisions in America. Everyone else should simply bend to their manifestly higher intellect and deeper compassion."

    Add ad hominems to my initial list. And whining about snarky, dismissive rants is enormously ironic.

    What are your thoughts on government regulation of tobacco? Alcohol? Pesticides in food? Cyanide? Is there *any* role for government to regulate what we consume for the sake of the public good?

    Why is there no room to regulate an artificial ingredient that has zero nutritional value, is present only to enhance product shelf life, and has contributed to massive coronary problems in this country?

  • 10CC Bountiful, UT
    Nov. 18, 2013 7:05 p.m.

    The next thing you know, government will be banning children from smoking cigarettes and forcing tobacco companies to put warnings on packages. Oh, the tyranny!


  • Ultra Bob Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Nov. 18, 2013 6:24 p.m.

    All, each, every, and this one too must follow the standard that a law, regulation, legislation or program must provide the appropriate profit motive before it can become law. If we can’t see the dollar to follow, we are not looking hard enough.

    It is not necessary to satisfy all the businessmen, only those who are currently in control. Cigarettes won’t be banned because the Tobacco companies are too big and have too much power.

  • Fitz Murray, UT
    Nov. 18, 2013 5:25 p.m.

    If this is not a clear sign of government over reach, what is? Neither the federal government, nor the state or local governments, have the right to tell me what I can and can not eat. My diet is my business. I challenge this editorial to back their stance up with a constitutional citation giving the feds the right to limit my diet. I will start with the 9th Amendment, which says "The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people." None of the enumerated rights give the government this authority. My rights are being both denied and disparaged.

    If this is allowed to go forward, where does it end? The government has, and with this trans fat proposal, continues to exceed its authority. I hope that our Congressional delegation has the guts to tell the FDA to stop this intrusion into our rights.

  • procuradorfiscal Tooele, UT
    Nov. 18, 2013 5:04 p.m.

    Re: "Goodness gracious, the paranoia is intense!"

    It's not paranoia if the liberals really ARE out to get me. And you. And everyone else who might disagree with them.

    Make no mistake, liberals really ARE out to control us in every way possible. Their snarky, dismissive rants in these columns clearly demonstrate as much. Liberal hubris is such that they believe only they and their fellow liberals should make decisions in America. Everyone else should simply bend to their manifestly higher intellect and deeper compassion.

    And, what if we don't? Liberals that can justify the massacre of the innocent unborn could easily justify dissident "re-education" camps, or labor gulags, or concentration camps, to straighten out us poor, benighted conservatives. After all, liberal "compassion" has only our best interest at heart.

    We've seen this same disingenuous drama play out, time and time again, in so many places throughout the world, it's simply ignorant, enabling denialism to suggest it can't happen here.

  • Unreconstructed Reb Chantilly, VA
    Nov. 18, 2013 3:05 p.m.

    A few posters need to look up the fallacies of strawmen, red herrings, and reductio ad absurdam. Goodness gracious, the paranoia is intense!

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    Nov. 18, 2013 2:28 p.m.


    Of course not. We have to have our food inspected to make certain it is safe but what liberals want to do is take it a step beyond and actually tell us what we can and can't eat and drink according to their rules and standards. Everything about progressivism attempts to eliminate freedom and replace it with some rules formed by a group of bureaucrats who are steeped in their own personal ideology....completely opposite from the American bill of rights. Everything about extreme socialist societies (China, the old USSR, the old east Germany, Cuba etc...) are built upon restricting the personal freedom of its citizens from only allowing one child to be born to building walls with barbed wire to outlawing religion to defining what food you can eat and what health insurance you can buy. Varying degrees of socialist poison have been used through out history and it seems like the saying "those that don't learn from history are bound to repeat it" applies to our nation today.

  • 2 bit Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Nov. 18, 2013 12:56 p.m.

    OK. My Democrat friends promised this would never happen... but it just did.

    Owl @ 11:04 a.m. said...
    "The government has a legitimate stake in improving public health, since they are the ones who provide health care for those affected"...

    This exact attitude is what my most paranoid anti-ObamaCare, anti-HillaryCare, anti-Nationalized Healthcare, friends claimed would happen next IF we make the Government the payer for healthcare. They said if the government pays for your healthcare they then have a stake in controlling what they spend on your healthcare (and that makes sense). So they have standing and a financial interest in what you eat, require you to take vitamins, regulate what you feed your children, etc, etc, etc, and therefore they have the right to control it.... (because if YOU make bad decisions, they pay for it)... Again, that makes sense.

    I don't see why my liberal friends were so sure this would NEVER happen if we turned healthcare over to the Government. OBVIOUSLY it would happen! It's already happening!

    No... this obviously NOT a sign of the Nanny-State mentality...

  • RedShirt USS Enterprise, UT
    Nov. 18, 2013 12:40 p.m.

    To "Esquire" you have to ask yourself, "Where does it stop?" Right now it is trans fats. Yes trans fats are bad for you, but so is Bacon, if you eat it all the time.

    Now the government bans trans fats, is it that difficult to imagine a world where they ban or limit your intake of fatty meats? What about salt, coffee, alcohol, tobacco, sugar, red meat, or flour? There are many natural foods that are fine in moderation, but when consumed in excess are bad. If the government can limit your intake of trans fats now, how many steps away are they from taking away Ben and Jerry's ice cream?

  • There You Go Again Saint George, UT
    Nov. 18, 2013 12:34 p.m.

    "...The role the federal government is NOT to regulate what food we eat...".

    Ever watch sausage being made?

  • Esquire Springville, UT
    Nov. 18, 2013 12:02 p.m.

    @! patriot, are you serious when youi say "The role the federal government is NOT to regulate what food we eat?" So, no more food purity laws? Let anyone sell anything they want? Buyer beware? Yikes! Your "principles" have gotten in the way of rational thinking. The whole conservative thing has gotten you in a world that defies reason. So, I suppose you will fight to get the government out of the regulation of alcohol? Come on, go there.

  • one vote Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 18, 2013 11:40 a.m.

    Yes, allow trans fat, marijuana, liquor from stores, unlimited speed on freeways.

  • procuradorfiscal Tooele, UT
    Nov. 18, 2013 11:22 a.m.

    Re: "Obesity and heart disease account for more deaths in this country than all drugs combined including evil tobacco and alcohol."

    Yeah, and that's the mantra liberals will be chanting when they outlaw and begin to punish intake of more than 2000 calories a day. And, of course, to prevent this horrible overeating crime, they'll build large barracks, with barbed wire around them, to make sure people don't cheat the new liberal nanny-state system. And then, to make sure people inside these compounds are not too idle, they'll enforce a daily regimen of rigorous, unpaid exercise. Just to protect inmates' health, of course.

    They'll need a camp motto to encourage those evil, overeating internees, as well -- something like "arbeit macht frei" would do nicely, in large letters above the camp gate.

    It's amazing that otherwise intelligent liberals don't have the sense to acknowledge the direction in which nanny-state laws are inevitably pushing us.

  • Strider303 Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 18, 2013 11:10 a.m.

    I suggest that if a government wants to ban or regulate a substance, it should be the individual state governments. They are closer to the citizens.

    Trans fats may be harmful, but smoking is harmful, we ban one and keep the other legal. Doesn't make sense to me. The tobacco is legal and addictive, trans fat is probably harmful but has no claim as to addiction properties. I will admit to craving Twinkies - but I digress. Oh, I think the reason FDA has not attempted to ban tobacco may be because it is exempted from the FDA law.

    What we do not consider is the revolving door of food industry leaders and the FDA, and the pharmaceutical industry and FDA/Institutes of Health. It is hard to not believe that these once and future leaders of mega-corporations divorce themselves of all interests and associations to take a job in the Federal Government for a few years that pays the equivalent of their expense accounts.

    I feel the DesNews Ed Board is off target on this one.

  • Owl Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 18, 2013 11:04 a.m.

    The government has a legitimate stake in improving public health, since they are the ones who will provide health care for those affected, i.e. helmet laws, car seats and seat belts, lead paint, ad infinitum. Our government can legitimately "promote the general welfare" even though it does not guarantee the public welfare. Criticizing an effort to better health just because it does not also ban tobacco or other harmful substances is disingenuous. Banning large sugary drinks, though conceptually good, is not technically feasible and could not be enforced. Leave that out of the conversation.

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    Nov. 18, 2013 10:56 a.m.

    The role the federal government is NOT to regulate what food we eat. We tried prohibition back in the 1930s banning alcohol and this was a disaster. America was founded on a the core principle of freedom and with freedom comes good and bad ...just like the internet. Does the federal government censor and regulate internet content?? Which content? The internet is wide open with incredible capabilities and information for individuals AND the internet also has tons of bad stuff freely available. You have to take the good with the bad in any free society. Transfat is really bad for you health wise but so is alcohol and so is sugar and and so is Marijuana and on and on .... This all boils down to allowing individuals to regulate themselves and make judgements OR letting the federal government do that for the individual which is AGAINST everything our founders foresaw as they formed our small-government republic.

  • J in AZ San Tan Valley, AZ
    Nov. 18, 2013 10:17 a.m.

    Buried in this editorial is a blurb that give substance to the idea that the FDA and NIH are really in league with the pharma companies. The move to broaden the use of statin drugs is purely to boost the profits of the firms that make those drugs. The ugly little truth is that statins should never have been approved in the first place. The "change" that they make in the heart attack rate is so small, it is within the statistical variance of the untreated rate. What that means is that statistically they make no difference. The approval if this drug class was purely political. Did money change hands? No one knows.

  • Happy Valley Heretic Orem, UT
    Nov. 18, 2013 10:08 a.m.

    Most eat trans fats without knowing it, You don't buy it in a bottle and drink it?

    2bits, you picked the wrong plant to compare, as hemp seed oil is not only healthy but also has cured cancer and helps with seizures. It can also be used in your vehicle as lubricant, or as bio fuel.

    Trans-fat just make your twinkie taste better and is completely man made, I'll take natural over "mans" creations any day.

  • Happy Valley Heretic Orem, UT
    Nov. 18, 2013 9:54 a.m.

    You are about the most consistent satirist in these comments daily, only Steve Colbert does it better.

    The government testing foods, how dare they? In the case of trans fats, foods that don't exist in nature, how horrible of them.

    Of course when it comes to foods like beer (which is far more nutritional than trans-fats) I'm sure your for draconian regulation.

    Obesity and heart disease account for more deaths in this country than all drugs combined including evil tobacco and alcohol.

    Just because you can eat paint chips, doesn't mean you can market them as a crunchy salad topping.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Nov. 18, 2013 9:10 a.m.

    Maybe we should just make Trans Fats a "controlled substance"... and restore Marijuana to it's rightful place as just a harmless herb that would NEVER be abused...

    While you're at it... make sodas a controlled substance.

    If you think our prisons are overflowing and the black market thriving just because marijuana is illegal... what do you think will happen if you outlaw trans fats, sodas, fried foods, etc.

    I wonder what the penalty for Trans Fat trafficking will be...

    Are we going to be frisking people on the Mexican border and ripping apart cars looking for candy or french fries?

  • Esquire Springville, UT
    Nov. 18, 2013 8:52 a.m.

    Good editorial. This is a ban of a harmful product that has no value to the consumer. Frankly, some regulation is good. You wouldn't like a world where there is little or no regulation.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Nov. 18, 2013 8:44 a.m.

    Of course it's not evidence of the "Nanny State" mentality. It's just evidence of how little those in government trust the PEOPLE to make their own decisions.

    And maybe they are right to not trust us to make wise decisions. I mean... look at all the obese people, and all the people killed in traffic accidents that weren't wearing a seat belt, or all the people killed by drunk drivers each year.

    Maybe we don't deserve that trust, or that freedom to choose and suffer the consequences of our choices (good or bad).

    But here's the kicker... People like Bloomburg don't trust us with Trans fats or sodas and want to outlaw them... but many of the same states are pushing to legalize marijuana!

    So... we can't be trusted to make wise choices when it comes to diet (and they need to be banned)... but we CAN make wise choices on marijuana, alchohol, etc (and it needs to be legalized)?

    I don't get that logic. Are they saying Trans Fats are more dangerous than Marijuana? Or that Marijuana WON'T be abused... but Trans Fats will?

    If you legalize Marijuana... legalize Transfats.

  • Commodore West Jordan, UT
    Nov. 18, 2013 8:43 a.m.

    I've noticed throughout the years, especially after reading articles like this, that the Desnews has moved away from being a conservative paper to being a moderate one. It is refreshing to see common sense prevail.

  • procuradorfiscal Tooele, UT
    Nov. 18, 2013 7:54 a.m.

    Re: "Trans fat ban not a sign the 'nanny state' is taking over"

    Actually, it's the BEST evidence yet that the nanny state IS taking over. If the federal government is permitted to ban food, what is it not permitted to ban?

    The fact that physicians, and even real people, are being led merrily into tyranny by the soothing pied piper's music this opinion piece spouts -- a lilting, if disingenuous suggestion that bureaucratic control over this particular food is somehow different than others, a to-be-applauded exception to Constitutionally limited government -- demonstrates how low-information America has been lulled into believing government is the good guys.

    It's just sad.

  • Twin Lights Louisville, KY
    Nov. 18, 2013 7:40 a.m.

    This ban on trans fats is the sure sign of the apocalypse - the end of days - the final triumph of communism in America - fascism in food. What next?

  • isrred South Jordan, UT
    Nov. 18, 2013 7:23 a.m.

    How can one take this editorial board seriously when it applauds this effort, but wrote vicious editorials against the efforts to limit soda consumption? The principle is the same in both cases.

    I'm for banning trans fats, but this editorial board has no credibility.

  • cjb Bountiful, UT
    Nov. 18, 2013 7:21 a.m.

    Decades ago the government adopted enforced standards that foods need to be suplemented with certain vitamins and minerals. Since that time people have begun living longer and longer. Coincidence? I think not.

    Yes Virgina, inspite what you may have heard from RR and the TP, government does have a letigimate role to play.