California becomes first state to ban trans fats

California will be the first state to ban trans fats in restaurants and bakeries under legislation signed today by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.

The measure requires restaurants to quit using trans fats by January 2010, and for bakeries to follow suit one year later.

"Consuming trans fat is linked to coronary heart disease, and today we are taking a strong step toward creating a healthier future for California," Schwarzenegger said in a written statement.

The legislation, Assembly Bill 97, was proposed by Democratic Assemblyman Tony Mendoza of Artesia and opposed by most Republicans.

Trans fats, also known as trans fatty acids, can increase the shelf life and flavor stability of foods but has been linked to heart disease by medical research.

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