House Judiciary Committee Passes Bill To Ban Obesity-Related Lawsuits Against Food Manufacturers
The House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday by voice vote passed a bill (HR 339) that would protect food manufacturers from certain lawsuits, according to CongressDaily Markup Reports (Posner, CongressDaily Markup Reports, 1/28). The legislation, sponsored by Rep. Ric Keller (R-Fla.), would protect food manufacturers from lawsuits filed over allegations that their products are responsible for obesity or weight gain. The bill would prohibit such lawsuits in state or federal court and would request the dismissal of lawsuits filed before the enactment of the law (California Healthline, 10/17/03). However, the legislation would allow such lawsuits in cases in which a "willful law violation occurred," according to CongressDaily Markup Reports (CongressDaily Markup Reports, 1/28). The bill also would allow lawsuits against food manufacturers for false advertising or tainted food. Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has introduced a similar bill in the Senate (Schaefer Munoz, Wall Street Journal, 1/28). MPR's "Marketplace" on Wednesday reported on the bill. The segment includes comments from Richard Daynard, chair and president of the Tobacco Products Liability Project and Tobacco Control Resource Center at Northeastern University, and Keller (Palmer, "Marketplace," MPR, 1/28). The complete segment is available online in RealPlayer.This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.