SACRAMENTO, Calif. — California’s restaurants must be trans fat-free by 2010, and retail baked goods sold in the state must eliminate the artificial fats by 2011, according to new state legislation signed Friday by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. The bill makes California the first state in the nation to ban the use of partially hydrogenated oils, following similar moves by a handful of major cities, including New York and Philadelphia. When the ban takes effect, violators will incur fines ranging from $25 to $1,000. Consumption of trans fats has been linked to coronary heart disease and elevated cholesterol levels, and many doctors and nutritionists now believe that partially hydrogenated oils are much harder on the human circulatory system than natural oils and fats derived from plant or animal sources. Many leading quick-service restaurant chains, including McDonalds, Kentucky Fried Chicken, Wendy’s and Taco Bell, have been phasing out the oils due to consumer concerns and to a growing number of similar bans in municipalities around the country.
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