ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - A Minnesota House panel has approved legislation that would block consumers from suing fast-food chains and other food companies for weight problems.

The Civil Law Committee approved the Personal Responsibility in Food Consumption Act on a voice vote. The proposal is also known as the "cheeseburger bill."

The bill would prevent consumers from suing the food industry for weight gain, obesity and health problems caused by long-term consumption of fattening foods and non-alcoholic drinks such as soda.

The sponsor, Republican Rep. Dean Urdahl of Grove City, says the bill would prevent frivolous lawsuits. Urdahl has been pushing the legislation since 2004.

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