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Public Statements

Personal Responsibility in Food Consumption Act of 2005

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC


PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY IN FOOD CONSUMPTION ACT OF 2005 -- (House of Representatives - October 19, 2005)

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Mr. CHABOT. Madam Chairman, I am pleased to be a cosponsor of this legislation that will help curtail frivolous lawsuits. It is reassuring to see the Congress is taking measures to help rid our court system of lawsuits that are costly and hurt those consumers and businesses in our country. Twelve million people in this country are employed by businesses in the food industry, making it the Nation's largest private sector employer. This is an industry that has a direct impact on the Nation's economy, and these fast-food obesity lawsuits are opposed by nearly nine in 10 Americans.

The idea that holding the food industry liable for the excess of some individuals will combat obesity is unfounded. Individuals, not restaurants, are responsible for food choices that they make freely in their own daily lives.

In addition, the food addressed by this legislation is legal and unadulterated, and the rights of individuals to pursue lawsuits resulting from claims like the mislabeling of food or food safety issues is preserved. Our country has a history of providing its citizens with a safe and affordable food supply. It is unacceptable to make arguments that certain types of food that are sold in certain types of restaurants as a result of consumer demand are somehow dangerous and that the average consumer must bear the burden in higher food costs because of the overindulgence by some individuals who file these types of lawsuits.

This bill is not about whether fast food causes obesity. The bill is about self-responsibility.

Today, the Congress of the United States is saying to a select group of lawyers that laws are not intended to protect people from these types of excesses, from essentially eating too much, and the courtrooms were never meant for that reason. It is really pretty simple. If you eat too much, you get fat. It is your fault. Do not try to blame somebody else.

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