May 26th, 2011
Love of junk food helps kill trans fat bill in Illinois Senate
Affirming their fondness for Oreos and donuts, lawmakers in the Illinois Senate cast 40 votes against a trans fat ban that would have removed the artery-blocking substance from restaurant menus by 2013.
Among the ‘no’ voters was state Sen. Mike Jacobs, D-East Moline, who declared his love for the chocolate sandwich cookie during debate, and said he couldn’t support Illinois becoming a “nanny state.”
The House moved in April to impose the ban as a health measure on a 73-43 vote, but restaurant owners who earn their living serving fried delicacies rallied to defeat it. They said following the lead of California, the only other state to ban the substance, would impose a new hardship during a down economy.
One state senator called the majority on today’s vote the ‘donut caucus,’ in homage to the bakeries who asked to be saved from the ban.
School vending machines would also have been stripped of junk food with trans fat, but not the cafeterias. A meaningful fight against childhood obesity would change meals, not just snacks, lawmakers said today.
-The bill is HB1600.