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Consumer groups oppose “Commonsense”

This article was originally published in The Tan Sheet

Executive Summary

The Center for Science in the Public Interest, Public Citizen and the Alliance for Justice oppose proposed Senate legislation dubbed "the Commonsense Consumption Act of 2005" (S 908) "because it gives an unjustified, super-sized protection to special interests," the groups state in a letter sent to several senators Sept. 15. The bill provides protection for food, beverage and dietary supplement manufacturers as well as trade groups against "lawsuits seeking to blame individual food and beverage providers for a person's weight gain" and related conditions. The consumer groups argue that the bill preempts state consumer protection legislation and say that "frivolous obesity" lawsuits against manufacturers are a "phantom problem." The breadth of the bill also concerns the groups because it covers "potentially dangerous" food additives and supplements that "would seem immune from liability if they caused serious injury or death entirely unrelated to a person's weight gain," the letter says. Conversely, the Natural Products Association supports the bill because of the provision for trade associations, the group states...
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