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SPRINGFIELD, IL -- The Illinois Senate rejected a bill that would have banned trans fat from school vending machines, restaurants and bakeries starting in 2013. The bill had passed the House in April.
Sen. Donne Trotter (D-Chicago), the bill's chief Senate sponsor, pointed to 30,000 cardiac-related deaths in the state last year attributed to trans fat as the motivation for the legislation. Trans fat, created by hydrogenating oil, has emerged in recent years as a prime suspect in high cholesterol, heart attacks and other health problems.
But the proposal met resistance from state senators who argued that the food industry already is eliminating trans fat on its own and that it's not within the government's jurisdiction to restrict the ingredient.
The bill would have not applied to packaged goods, except for those sold in school vending machines, and would also have given bakeries and school cafeterias until 2016 to make the adjustment.
California imposed the nation's only statewide trans fat ban last year. New York City and Washington's King County are among local jurisdictions with trans fat bans.