Fighting Trans-Fats in Court:

On Monday, the Center for Science in the Public Interest filed a class-action suit against KFC to force the fast-food chain to eliminate (or at least disclose) its use of partially hydrogenated oil — described by CSPI as "the chemically altered, trans-fat-laden oil that kills roughly 50,000 Americans per year." The suit, filed in District of Columbia Superior Court, alleges that KFC's use of partially hydrogenated oil without explicitly informing consumers violates D.C.'s local consumer protection laws.

"Grilled, baked, or roasted chicken is a healthy food-and even fried chicken can be trans-fat-free," said CSPI executive director Michael F. Jacobson. "But coated in breading and fried in partially hydrogenated oil, this otherwise healthy food becomes something that can quite literally take years off your life. KFC knows this, yet it recklessly puts its customers at risk of a Kentucky Fried Coronary." . . .

"District of Columbia law allows consumers to seek relief from the courts when companies fail to disclose essential facts about their products," said CSPI litigation director Stephen Gardner. "That KFC uses the worst frying oil imaginable to prepare its chicken is something that KFC should absolutely be required to disclose at the point of purchase."

The lead plaintiff in the case is retired physician Arthur Hoyte, who claims to have eaten at KFC numerous times unaware of the risks to his health.

"If I had known that KFC uses an unnatural frying oil, and that their food was so high in trans fat, I would have reconsidered my choices," said Dr. Hoyte. "I am bringing this suit because I want KFC to change the way it does business. And I'm doing it for my son and others' kids-so that they may have a healthier, happier, trans-fat-free future."

CSPI's complaint is here. The New York Times reports on the suit here.

UPDATE: More on this suit from and Michael Krauss.