Alexa
  • Directory of Taiwan

Puerto Rico weighing a ban of trans fats from island restaurants

Puerto Rico weighing a ban of trans fats from island restaurants

Puerto Rico may join those communities seeking to restriction artificial trans fats as health authorities in the U.S. island territory look for ways to promote better nutrition in a place where fried food is a key part of the local diet.
The island's Health Department is drafting a proposed law that would require restaurants to stop using the artificial ingredient, which is linked to heart disease and is commonly used in baked and fried foods, according to Waldert Rivera, assistant to the health secretary.
Under the proposal, Puerto Rico would impose fines ranging from US$200 (euro151.61) to US$1,000 (euro758.04) on restaurants that violate the ban, which Rivera said would help reduce heart disease.
"The (restaurant) industry should take corporate responsibility and make decisions that are good for them and for the clients they serve," he said.
Rivera said the agency would likely recommend a gradual approach to enforcement. "We have to go little by little, and give some deadlines to begin to substitute the oils," he said.
The measure would require approval by the legislature and would likely face opposition throughout the island, where fried foods are a common feature of the local diet.
Trans-fats are oils that are artificially enhanced to retard spoilage, promote texture and aid in deep-frying.
In December, New York City became the first U.S. city to bar restaurants from using most frying oils containing artificial trans fats by July and to require them to eliminate them a year later. Since then, similar bans have been proposed in a number of places, including California, Connecticut, Philadelphia and Chicago.
Besides clogging arteries, trans fats are also associated with obesity. Some 64 percent of Puerto Ricans are classified as overweight or obese, according to the latest figures from the Caribbean island's Health Department.


Updated : 2021-06-13 05:31 GMT+08:00