Who knew Oreo Cookies were bad for you?
Stephen Joseph, an activist California attorney, has filed a lawsuit against Kraft Foods Inc., accusing the company of not properly informing consumers of the potential health dangers associated with Oreo cookies because of the hydrogenated oil - also known as trans fat - used in making them.
Joseph has filed the suit under a California civil code provision which holds "manufacturers liable for common products if not known to be unsafe by the ordinary consumer." Last year, the National Academy of Sciences' Institute announced a direct link between trans fat to heart disease and "bad" cholesterol. Joseph whined: "I am probably full of hydrogenated fat because... I didn't know about it. I resent the fact that I have been eating that stuff all my life." In addition to the lawsuit he has formed an advocacy group called "BanTransFats.com Inc." which seeks to ban Oreo cookies.
Hydrogenation is the process which adds hydrogen gas to vegetable oil in order to create a solid form. This process is used in thousands of products consumed everyday - including margarine, vegetable shortening, store-bought baked goods, deep fried chips and fast foods. So why is Joseph singling out Oreo cookies, and how is suing to ban them going to help "more people know about trans fat than before," which Joseph claims is his main objective of his lawsuit?
Michael Mudd, a spokesman for Kraft commented, "We've been... exploring ways to reduce trans fat in Oreos and those efforts are continuing. You can make a cookie without trans fat but what you are trading off is the unique taste and texture that people have come to expect." That's right. Watch out Mr. Joseph, if you succeed, you could be the target of millions of PMS'ing women who can no longer find momentary relief with their beloved Oreos. And they are not, understandably, the most rational at times.
Perhaps if Joseph's intent to inform Oreo lovers everywhere of the dangers of trans fat fails, he will at the very least give the attorneys for the Glenbrook North High School girls charged with assault and battery during their "powderpuff football" hazing of the junior girls a new defense strategy: "The Oreo Syndrome."
Again, another blow against personal responsibility.