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Lawmakers introduce bills shielding food industry


WASHINGTON--Bills designed to protect the food and beverage industries from lawsuits brought against them by people who blame their products for obesity and other health problems were introduced Monday in both houses of Congress.

The measures, both called the Commonsense Consumption Act of 2007, hold that weight gain, obesity and related health problems are "based on a multitude of factors" and "cannot be attributed to the consumption of any specific food or beverage."

The measures would bar suits alleging such health problems from targeting food manufacturers, marketers, advertisers and others under most circumstances.

The bills mirror legislation introduced in the last Congress that failed to win approval of both houses. They enjoy bipartisan support, with the Senate bill being introduced by Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., for a group of his Republican and Democratic colleagues, while the House bill was introduced by Reps. Dan Boren, D-Okla., and Ric Keller, R-Fla.