It’s hard to miss the government’s growing micromanagement of American dietary habits. Whether it’s soda bans, calorie counts, or food truck bans, foodies from New York to Central Texas have had to navigate an intrusive minefield of regulations in their quest to find a delicious lunch.
Only now, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has gotten in the game. Last November, the FDA published a tentative determination that partially hydrogenated oils—the major source of trans-fat—are not “generally recognized as safe.” If finalized, this determination effectively could end the production of artificial trans-fats.
How much this decision will impact everyday dietary habits is up for debate. Market forces have already reduced trans-fat consumption from 4.6 grams a day in 2003 to about 1 gram a day in 2012 as companies voluntarily move towards healthier substitutions.
More troubling is the concern that the FDA’s entry into the trans-fat debate could establish a precedent for future action against other so-called “unhealthy” foods, such as caffeine and sugar.
For that reason, the Federalist Society hosted a teleforum last week to discuss both implications of the FDA’s meddling and the legal strategies food lovers can take. It’s definitely worth a listen.