Chapter 1

Wave of Panic Acrossthe Planet

In March 2004, and again in October 2005, the US House of Representatives approved a bill that may one day be seen as emblematic: The Personal Responsibility in Food Consumption Act. The purpose of this Act was to protect the food and agriculture industry from being sued by obese consumers. It sought to relieve producers, retailers and distributors from any responsibility at all for the expanded waistlines of their over-faithful customers, and more importantly, from liability for any damage wrought by overweight to those consumers’ health. In future, no such ‘frivolous’ lawsuits (as they were officially dubbed) would be admissible.

Whether in irony or clairvoyance, the text rapidly became known as the ...

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