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Legislative docket clogged with trans-fat bills

There’s a glut of trans-fat bills hitting the California Legislature this session. No fewer than five legislators have submitted bills to ban the substance in some food in California. These include various bans that would affect restaurants and schools–and one bill that would cover packaged foods as well.

Four of these bills are from Democrats, but the charge was led by a Republican.

Assemblywoman Bonnie Garcia, R-Cathedral City, submitted AB 93 on December 18, 2006. Though she has yet to write the actual dates in to the bill, Garcia said it would ban the use of trans fats in California restaurants by January 1, 2009, and in school cafeterias a year later.

Garcia said she was influenced by a pair of factors. One was the higher relevance of heart disease, diabetes and obesity in minority communities–especially in the Latino community. The other was watching her mother’s struggles with diabetes and cardiomyopathy after suffering her first heart attack at 50.

“This is very personal for me,” Garcia said. “I saw my mother go from a vibrant woman who could out-dance anyone


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