Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Fat not worth lawsuit

Kentucky Fried Chicken is being sued by the Center for Science in the Public Interest, a healthy eating group. The group, which has campaigned against saturated fats since the ‘80s, claims KFC’s use of trans-fat in chicken preparation makes it unfit for human consumption. While trans fatty acid is extremely unhealthy, it is legal and deeming it “unfit for human consumption” is a bit extreme.

The National Academy of Science recommends people avoid trans-fats entirely, and the FDA has required food manufacturers to label foods with trans-fats since January 1, 2006. But restaurants are not subject to the same nutritional information regulations, and KFC has not done anything illegal.

A doctor involved with the group says he wouldn’t have eaten KFC if he knew how it was prepared. But KFC has never advertised its food as being transfat-free. What expectations can people have about the healthy nature of fried chicken? People trying to eat healthy shouldn’t be eating at KFC in the first place, and it’s easy to assume this lawsuit is just as frivolous as KFC’s lawyers say.

A similar suit was brought against Kraft Foods in 2003 over the use of trans-fat in Oreos. Kraft said they would look for ways to eliminate trans-fat from the cookies and the suit was dropped. If the Center for Science in the Public Interest is hoping for a similar outcome that will benefit the general public, then this lawsuit is worthwhile.

Jayne Lady
Editorial Writer

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