California is at it again. This time it is trying to ban trans fat from all restaurants in the state. Forget that these restaurants are privately owned. Forget that costumers buy and eat food of their own free will and volition. Forget that doing so carries no externalities that would endanger the health of those who do not eat trans fats. The nanny is saying no.
As Assemblyman Chuck DeVore said, "For gosh sakes, this is taking government power to an absurd extreme."
For gosh sakes, is true. Many restaurants now voluntarily use trans fat free substitutes because consumers are increasingly aware of products that cause obesity and heart disease. But some restaurants cannot use substitutes without compromising the quality of their food. According to the California Restaurant Association:
Ethnic-food restaurants could be hit particularly hard by a ban on trans fats, because some of their entrees are difficult to prepare with substitutes... The particular oil used in a food affects product taste, appearance, texture, performance and stability.
Let restaurants and consumers decide. Children have mothers, and adults generally have enough brain capacity to decide what kind of food to eat.
The legislature approved the bill, which is now awaiting the Governator's approval or veto. For freedom's sake, let us hope Arnold Schwarzenegger terminates it.