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The Ticking Timebomb -- OREO cookies MUST be banned


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  • The Ticking Timebomb -- OREO cookies MUST be banned

    OHH FOR F**K'S SAKE -- thank god for the smilie!!

    leave it to some idiot from the people's republik of kalifornia!!!!!!

    Lawsuit seeks to ban sale of Oreos to children in California

    Nabisco taken to task over trans fat's effects

    Kim Severson, Chronicle Staff Writer Monday, May 12, 2003


    Oreo cookies should be banned from sale to children in California, according to a lawsuit filed by a San Francisco attorney who claims that trans fat -- the stuff that makes the chocolate cookies crisp and their filling creamy -- is so dangerous children shouldn't eat it.

    Stephen Joseph, who filed the suit against Nabisco last week in Marin County Superior Court, is a public interest lawyer who last battled the city to remove graffiti from traffic signs.

    He took up the trans fat battle after reading about the dangerous artificial fat in several stories published by The Chronicle that showed how trans fat is hidden in many of the popular snack foods Americans eat. Joseph also believes his father's death from heart disease was caused in part by a lifelong diet of margarine and other foods made from trans fat.

    The suit, the first of its kind in the country, asks for an injunction ordering Kraft Foods to desist from selling Nabisco Oreo Cookies to children in California, because the cookies are made with partially hydrogenated vegetable oil, also called trans fat.

    Partially hydrogenated oil is in about 40 percent of the food on grocery store shelves, including most cookies, crackers and microwave popcorn, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

    But doctors and government researchers believe it is linked to several debilitating diseases and might be one of the worst ingredients in the American diet -- in part because we eat so much of it without knowing.

    The Institute of Medicine, a branch of the National Academy of Sciences, last summer confirmed that trans fat is directly associated with heart disease and increases in LDL cholesterol, the kind that can clog arteries. Because of that, the institute report said there is no safe amount of trans fat in the diet.

    Prompted by those findings, and after being petitioned by health advocates, the Food and Drug Administration decided to force food manufacturers to list trans fat among the other fats and nutrients printed on the side of food packages. But the rule has been challenged by food manufacturers. A final version is pending.

    As it stands, U.S. consumers have no idea how much trans fat is in food because it isn't required on nutrition labels. Even products marked "low in cholesterol" or "low in saturated fat" might have high levels of trans fat.

    Providing information about trans fat on labels could prevent 7,600 to 17,100 cases of coronary heart disease and 2,500 to 5,600 deaths every year -- not only because people would be able to choose healthier foods but because manufacturers could choose to reduce trans fat amounts rather than list high levels on nutrition panels, the FDA has estimated.

    The Oreo lawsuit differs from consumer lawsuits against tobacco, and more recently, fast-food giant McDonald's, Joseph said.

    "Tobacco is well known as an unsafe product. Trans fat is not the same thing at all. Very few people know about it," he said.

    Joseph said his suit is about the hidden nature of trans fat and the marketing to children.

    That's what makes it different from a class-action suit filed earlier this year against McDonald's on behalf of an obese New York man. (That suit was thrown out in February.) Joseph's suit does not focus on obesity or on the choices adults make when they eat, he said.

    Legally, Joseph is relying on a provision in California law that says companies aren't liable for a commonly used but unhealthy product if it is well-known in the community that the product is unsafe.

    "But this product, trans fat, is not commonly known to be unsafe," he said. "That's why trans fat is a far stronger case than tobacco or McDonald's because people know those are dangerous."

    In his suit, Joseph cites the Hanover, N.J., company's Nabiscoworld Web site, with its games for children.

    In particular, he mentions a school-based program called the Oreo On-line Project, which involves stacking Oreos as high as possible without toppling the tower. In 2002, more than 326 schools and classes around the country participated, according to the Oreo Web site.

    "This is a FUN way to teach your students math, measurement, working as a team and more," the Web site says.

    Nabisco officials, who Joseph said will likely be served with the suit this week, weren't immediately available for comment. They will have 30 days from the May 5 filing date to respond.

    State Sen. Debra Bowen, a leader in state nutrition-reform legislation, called Joseph's choice of the California product liability law to go after food makers who use trans fat a unique approach.

    "Anything that brings people's attention to how dangerous and unhealthy trans fat can be is probably a good idea, because most people who go to the grocery store and see a bag of cookies or chips pitched as 'low fat' probably assume fat is fat," she said. "As the FDA confirmed last year, that's definitely not the case when it comes to trans fat."

    Joseph, a former Washington, D.C., lobbyist who has been practicing law since 1980, has worked on several other business issues, including tax credits, aviation and energy and successfully sued ITT. He most recently formed S.F. Graffiti Busters and sued the Department of Parking and Traffic to try to get the agency to remove graffiti from its parking and traffic signs.

    In addition to the Oreo suit, he has formed a nonprofit corporation called, Inc. and has printed T-shirts that read, "Don't Partially Hydrogenate Me."
    I'll post, You argue.

  • #2
    I ate oreos as a child, and I'd like to think I've not been permanently affected in any way by the practice... they did make me drink more milk though... Is Altria in cahoots with the dairy farmers?

    Poor Altria, first tobacco, then this... stoopid lawsuits for people that can't use common sense.
    Concerning the difference between man and the jackass: some observers hold that there isn't any. But this wrongs the jackass.
    -Mark Twain


    • #3
      Stand between me and an Oreo cookie and you`ll really find what pain`s all about. [Eek!]
      Life is like a 3 ring circus and cops have a front row seat. It`s The Greatest Show On Earth.


      • #4
        You can have my Oreo as soon as you can pry it from my cold glass of milk!

        Speaking of which, I'm a cookie purist. Chocolate chip cookies should have chocolate chips in them. Not walnuts, not macadamia nuts...not even peanut butter chips. Oreo cream should be white, not purple, not mint, not coffee flavored. However...the "Uh-Oh" Oreos are AWESOME!!!


        • #5
          I went to the Dairy Queen last night and had a wonderful Oreo Blizzard. It might make me fat but it suuuuuure did satisfy me!


          • #6
            lately i've become a Keebler coconut chocolate chip cookie addict!! yummy!!!

            i just hope the PC cookie cops don't kick my door down now because i've been sharing them with my teenage son.
            I'll post, You argue.


            • #7
              This is so stupid that I couldn't read anymore than the first 3 paragraphs.


              The sad thing is that it is San Fransisco. Who knows what will happen there.
              Drug Recognition Expert


              • #8
                Ths isn't just about Oreo Cookies, it will ultimately include Milk Duds, Jellybeans, and Milk Shakes. This can't be allowed to continue, the people must rise up and say, "no more"! [Wink]

                [ 05-12-2003, 06:48 PM: Message edited by: retired ]


                • #9
                  OREO'S ???!!!

                  Somebody CAP that sucker. QUICK !!! [Eek!]
                  "The American People will never knowingly adopt Socialism. Under the name of "liberalism" they will adopt every segment of the socialist program,until one day America will be a socialist nation without knowing how it happened."

                  Norman Thomas


                  • #10
                    Damn, where's a quick lightning strike when we need it? What business is it of his what people eat? You don't get fat from food, you get fat from lack of exercise.
                    Government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem. - Ronald Reagan

                    I don't think It'll happen in the US because we don't trust our government. We are a country of skeptics, raised by skeptics, founded by skeptics. - Amaroq


                    • #11
                      Man, I read the title and I figured Nick had found some nut-job against mixed-race marriages who felt that Oreo cookies were setting a bad example ...


                      • #12
                        This far! and no farther!


                        • #13
                          Ban Oreo's??? Maybe they ought to ban lawyers in California!!
                          " Life's disappointments are harder to take when you don't know any swear words." - Calvin


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Deputy Joe:
                            This is so stupid that I couldn't read anymore than the first 3 paragraphs.


                            The sad thing is that it is San Fransisco. Who knows what will happen there.

                            That's two paragraphs more than I could manage.
                            On the wings of a dove
                            Let's roll for justice
                            Let's roll for truth
                            Let's not let our children grow up
                            Fearful in their youth -- Neil Young


                            • #15
                              It's not that trans fat makes you fat, it's that it's very bad for your whole body, and health. I'm surprised some of the health-concious people on here arent speaking up.

                              I dont believe in banning Oreos, but maybe they should have a warning label [Wink]

                              It's just recently coming out about how bad this fat is. It's artificial...not even a real fat. All people dont know yet how bad it is for them.

                              Maybe in moderation it's fine. But parents really should know that it's in all their kids' "junk food."
                              "You did what you knew how to do...and when you knew better, you did better." ~~Maya Angelou


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