The Slatest

Fox News Host Worries What Regulating Trans Fats in Sprinkle Doughnuts Means for Freedom

Fox News Liberty Update: There is nothing more American, and generally freedom-loving, than getting sprinkles on your doughnut. It’s what makes America great. Only Vladimir Putin would deny American children—and adults that need to rethink their dietary life choices—their God-given right to ingest sugar in whatever form they deem fit. That’s what freedom looks like.

This is how passionately Fox & Friends guest-host Clayton Morris appears to feel about sprinkles and the impact the Food and Drug Administration’s effort to regulate trans fats will have on America’s free sprinkle market ideals. In a segment of the show aired on Tuesday, Morris argued in disbelief that the FDA’s attempts to eliminate trans fats would amount to the Obama administration banning doughnuts with sprinkles on top.

“It’s unclear why ‘Fox and Friends’ took on the FDA’s preliminary ruling on trans fat now, as the agency announced its intention to require the food industry to phase out trans fats more than a year ago,” Talking Points Memo points out. Perhaps it’s just great mediocre daytime television. Or the expectation that the FDA may do more to rein in the use of trans fats in food sometime in the new year, which has been trumped up in conservative circles as an Obama war on sprinkle doughnuts.

As Jonathan Chait pointed out last year over at New York magazine: “Trans fats are not essential to make doughnuts or, really, anything.” “Some restaurants still use trans fats because, even though they’re incredibly bad for you, they’re longer-lasting and slightly cheaper than other oils, and very few customers would ever know the difference,” Chait writes. “But Dunkin’ Donuts, Krispy Kreme, and many others have already eliminated trans fats, and customers have detected no difference in taste.”

Here’s what the sprinkle-loving New York Times wrote about the FDA’s trans fat announcement last year:

The Food and Drug Administration proposed measures on Thursday that would all but eliminate artery-clogging, artificial trans fats from the food supply, the culmination of three decades of effort by public health advocates to get the government to take action against them. Artificial trans fats — a major contributor to heart disease in the United States — have already been substantially reduced in foods. But they still lurk in many popular products, like frostings, microwave popcorn, packaged pies, frozen pizzas, margarines and coffee creamers. Banning them completely could prevent 20,000 heart attacks and 7,000 deaths from heart disease each year, the F.D.A. said.

Freedom isn’t free.