KFC sued over trans fats

A family-size bucket of litigation was just dropped on KFC.

The plaintiff – Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) – will ask the court to either stop KFC from using cooking oil that contains dangerous trans-fatty acids, or make KFC display warning signs for customers.

I wonder what part of “F” CSPI doesn’t understand. As nearly every schoolboy knows, fried foods are detrimental to health, whether they’re fried in oil with trans-fats or not. Granted, trans-fats make them even worse, but still – they’re FRIED!

Maybe the folks at CSPI haven’t heard the word that’s been coined to refer to this type of food: junk. If a judge makes KFC put up signs informing customers that the food is not healthy, I expect they’ll hear a loud, collective, “Duh!”

Laurie Schalow, a spokesperson for KFC, told CBS News: “All KFC products are safe to eat.”

Well, you’ve got to give Laurie credit for A) Apparently making that statement with a straight face, and B) Not trying to convince anyone that KFC products are healthy.

At this point, however, there’s no question that trans-fats are very unhealthy, contributing to heart disease and other health risks. My favorite quote about trans-fats is this one from a National Academy of Sciences report: “The only safe intake of trans-fat is zero.”

So why hasn’t KFC stopped using cooking oil with trans-fats? Laurie again: “We have been reviewing alternative oil options, but there are a number of factors to consider including maintaining KFC’s unique taste and flavor of Colonel Sanders’ Original Recipe, supply availability and transportation, among others.”

Really, is ANYONE surprised that in the line of fast food priorities safety comes in behind flavor, supply availability and transportation?

If you’d like to find out more about the dangers of trans-fats, see the e-Alert “Zero Denial” (5/1/06).


“KFC Sued Over Trans Fats” CBS/Associated Press, 6/13/06, cbsnews.com