House approves bill to expand food producers' grounds to sue
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — The Missouri House has passed a bill that would make it easier for food producers to sue people for spreading false information about their products.
Lawmakers voted 131-23 Monday to send the bill to the Senate. The proposal would allow producers of perishable food to sue people who knowingly spread false information that their food is unsafe.
Republican Rep. Joe Don McGaugh said he proposed the bill in response to misleading news stories about a meat-based additive that critics have called pink slime. He said he wants to ensure the public is getting information based on scientific fact.
Opponents of the bill said the bill could infringe on First Amendment rights. Rep. Margo McNeil said she didn't want to hinder debate over potentially unsafe foods or genetically-modified food.