Monday, February 28, 2011

Minnesota's Cheeseburger Bill

Posted By on Mon, Feb 28, 2011 at 11:10 AM

With all of the media coverage about unions and limiting collective bargaining rights across the country, Minnesota's House of Representatives has quietly slipped a bill through committee.


Dubbed the "Cheeseburger Bill," the proposed law will prohibit lawsuits against food companies for the effects of bad diet. The bill is in response to several lawsuits in the last decade that penalized fast food restaurants for health issues that their food causes. The Cheeseburger Bill was proposed in Minnesota before under the Personal Responsibility in Food Consumption Act by Republican Representative Dean Urdahl.

Critics of the bill cite asbestos and the Ford Pinto as reasons why exempting food companies is a bad idea. The examples are meant to show that in the past, companies have knowingly continued to use products that are known to be harmful. However, Minnesota has never had a lawsuit that the Cheeseburger Bill would cover.

“It's just a matter of time,” Urdahl is reported to have said.

Debate on the bill, according to the Pioneer Press, mostly devolved into battle of analogy and complaints about an overly litigious America.

The Cheeseburger Bill has been passed two times before in the Minnesota House of Representatives only to die in the Senate. Republican Senator David Hann has agreed to introduce a version in the Minnesota State Senate this year.

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