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May 16, 2007

Burger King Sued Over Trans Fats

Topics: Health Issues

transfats.jpgMaybe now that a nutrition advocacy group has sued Burger King Holdings Inc. over its use of frying oil that contains trans fats, the burger chain just might wake up and stop serving what most other chains have already stopped serving:

In court papers, the Center for Science in the Public Interest said Burger King is the only leading restaurant chain that has not yet committed to eliminate trans fats from its menu.

A Burger King spokesman was not immediately available for comment.

Trans fat increases the low-density lipoprotein -- so-called bad cholesterol -- in food, and U.S. health officials have advised Americans to consume as little trans fat as possible.

Several chains, including Wendy's International Inc., Yum Brands Inc.'s (YUM) KFC and Taco Bell units, Starbucks Corp. (SBUX) and McDonald's Corp. (MCD) have either already made the switch to healthier oils or have said they are working on finding a replacement.

I'm guessing most of us have mixed feelings about advocacy groups suing businesses over things that, under our system, customers always have the right to just not pay for.

On one hand if customers don't want the product because it doesn't meet well-known health standards, and trans-fats have long been known to be unhealthy, then customers should simply refuse to purchase the company's products and let the business suffer for its own mistakes. On the other hand, since there are apparently customers that are willing to keep buying Burger King's unhealthy products, the company has no incentive to stop serving what basically amounts to poison for customer's cardio-vascular systems, other than caring about its customers which apparently it doesn't.

Which, of course, brings us to Burger King getting sued by an advocacy group because the group likely feels that BK's customers are either too ignorant to make their own decisions and/or simply don't care about their health, and likely, the advocacy group is correct on both accounts.

Posted by Richard at May 16, 2007 2:11 PM

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