Okla. House Votes to Protect Food Industry From Frivolous Lawsuits

March 16, 2005

The Oklahoma House of Representatives has voted in favor of House Bill 1554, by State Rep. Dale DeWitt, which would create the “Commonsense Consumption Act” to “prevent frivolous lawsuits against manufacturers, packers, distributors, carriers, holders, sellers, marketers or advertisers of food products that comply with applicable statutory and regulatory requirements.”

The bill’s provisions would protect food producers from civil liability “for any claim arising” as the result of weight gain or obesity “allegedly caused” by food consumption.

“We have the distinct pleasure of having the best and safest food supply in the world,” said DeWitt, R-Braman. “This legislation just ensures that the people and companies giving us that distinction do not face a lawsuit because an individual happens to be obese.”

He noted corn producers in other states have been targeted by individuals citing health problems created by consuming corn syrup.

“Some individuals don’t want to take responsibility for their own health and instead look to put the blame on food producers,” DeWitt said. “This legislation just protects our food supply.”

Food products that do not comply with other federal and state laws and regulations would not be protected from lawsuits under the bill.

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