What: All Issues : Making Government Work for Everyone, Not Just the Rich or Powerful : Consumer Protection : H.R. 339. Food Industry Lawsuits/Vote to Exclude Producers and Distributors of Genetically-Modified Foods from the Legal Protections Contained in the Underlying Bill Unless They Fully Disclose the Exact Nature of Genetic Modifications Contained in Their Food.
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H.R. 339. Food Industry Lawsuits/Vote to Exclude Producers and Distributors of Genetically-Modified Foods from the Legal Protections Contained in the Underlying Bill Unless They Fully Disclose the Exact Nature of Genetic Modifications Contained in Their Food.
house Roll Call 50     Mar 10, 2004
Y = Conservative
N = Progressive
Winning Side:
Conservative

Protecting consumers from delinquent corporations has been a hallmark of progressive legislation since the industrial revolution. In recent years, progressive lawmakers have attempted to hold tobacco companies, firearms manufacturers, pharmaceutical firms, and, in this present case, fast food chains liable for alleged harms to consumers. Conservative lawmakers, conversely, have advanced legal reforms-so-called tort reforms-which aim to protect corporations from paying large sums to injured consumers. The underlying issue here is legislation to protect fast food chains such as McDonald's and Burger King from personal injury lawsuits involving obesity-related health problems. During debate on the measure, Representative Andrews (D-NJ) proposed an amendment which would have allowed consumers to file civil lawsuits against producers and distributors of genetically-modified (GM) foods in cases where health problems were allegedly caused by a corporation's failure to inform the consumer that the food he or she was eating had been genetically engineered. Progressives supported the Andrews amendment because, in their view, the food industry should not receive the legal protections contained in the underlying legislation unless producers and distributors of GM foods fully disclose all information to consumers regarding the exact nature of genetic modifications contained in their food. Conservatives voted against the Andrews amendment and argued that the disclosure requirements regarding GM foods would create new and expense regulations on the food industry, increase the cost of food production and distribution, and threaten jobs. On a vote of 129-285, the Andrews amendment was rejected and the labeling requirements for GM foods were not included in the underlying legislation.

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