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California prisons ignore anti-trans fat law

March 17, 2010

by Kenneth G. Keel

Toxins that were declared by the California Legislature to “have a detrimental impact on a person’s health” and cannot be used in school food service or food facility businesses are contained in food consumed by inmates in California prisons.

A new law, Section 114377 of the Health and Safety Code (S.B. 97), made it illegal to use partially hydrogenated oils in food facility businesses beginning Jan. 1, 2010, and in bakery goods beginning Jan. 1, 2011. Each violation of this law can result in fines ranging from $25 to $1,000.

Jails and prisons, however, are omitted from the state’s definition of “food facility.” Thus, inmates are involuntarily exposed to these health-harmful substances with impunity. The bodies of many – if not most – so-called strikers, lifers and other long-term prisoners are too toxic to pass an artery inspection.

Partially hydrogenated oils contain industrially produced – artificial – trans fatty acids, or trans fats, which are poisonous to humans. This toxic substance increases corporate profits, but it has no nutritional value whatsoever.

Indisputable scientific studies reveal that diets with even small amounts – 1 gram daily – of trans fats can cause diabetes, heart disease, obesity, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, heart attacks, strokes, cancer and other chronic diseases that lead to premature death (Legislative Declaration under Education Code Section 49431.7).

According to the American Heart Association, heart disease is the most common complication of diabetes; eight out of 10 diabetics will die from heart attacks. “African American women and men have the nation’s highest prevalence rate related to heart disease, at 45.9 percent, superseding 37.8 percent and 33.3 percent rates for white men and women, respectively” (Black Enterprise, February 2010, page 82).

“This cumulative and progressive danger is thoroughly exposed and documented by paralegal Kenneth G. Keel in a new book, ‘Avoiding Trans Fats: What All Citizens and Prisoners Need to Know,’” says H.B. Jacobs, M.D., who wrote Section 6 entitled “Healthy Living.” It’s unique because it provides the most authoritative science, up-to-date health and medical information, along with how-to information and real examples of an inmate grievance, request letters and legal documents. This comprehensive reference manual has 13 easy-to-use sections, including “Free Legal Assistance,” Section 13.

This extraordinary book will be showcased at the FACTS 11th Annual Awards Dinner, held at Cal-State Dominguez Hills on Saturday, March 20. RSVP today! A special pre-publication edition of “Avoiding Trans Fats: What All Citizens and Prisoners Need to Know” is now available exclusively from the FACTS State Office for a $15 tax deductible donation plus $4.95 shipping and handling. The book’s foreword, by H.B. Jacobs, M.D., is available FREE for downloading at www.facts1.org or call (213) 746-4844 or mail check or money order, payable to “FACTS Education Fund,” to FACTS State Office, 3982 South Figueroa St. #210, Los Angeles, CA 90037.

Send our brother some love and light. Write to: Kenneth G. Keel, D-12127, FSP-B5-BA1-39L, P.O. Box 715071, Folsom CA 95671-5071.

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