Lawyer pushing litigation against food manufacturers admits it\’s a get-rich scheme for legal profession.

WASHINGTON – Are the glut of lawsuits against food manufacturers and fast food restaurants a matter of public health, or the newest way for America\’s trial lawyers to hit the litigation jackpot?

Fortunately, the trial lawyers have publicly answered the question — and in the most cynical of terms.

John Banzhaff, the George Washington University law professor who was at the forefront of suing tobacco companies, said Thursday in a letter to the Washington Times: "When lawyers sued Big Tobacco on behalf of states to recover tobacco-related health costs, everyone called them crazy. Today we call them multimillionaires because they have won more than $250 million."

So did they sue to protect public health or to fatten their wallets? The answer is clear.

Taxpayer advocate Grover Norquist, who heads Americans for Tax Reform (ATR) in Washington, said: "When a public policy proposal is totally absurd, the gut instincts and common sense of the American people tend to call its bluff. But for America\’s trial lawyers – well, absurdity never stopped them before."

Despite this, the move to tax and litigate against fat is sadly on. Efforts to tax fast food in California are underway. And at the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) annual conference last week, a panel entitled "Obesity in Children and Adolescence: A Public Health Crisis" discussed a spurious link between obesity and tobacco use, saying "Almost 20 percent of American children are overweight and the costs of obesity have surpassed those of tobacco use." The implication is that fat taxes are on the way — much the same as tobacco taxes a decade earlier.

Norquist concluded: "Listen to Banzhaff: Trial lawyers want to make money by taking from the food business. And if you listen to NCSL, you\’ll find that some legislators are salivating at taking from taxpayers by way of future fat taxes. But what happens when the lawyers start suing the corner pizzeria, and excise taxes on food hit 120% like they do on tobacco? The possibilities are endless, which is why these absurd efforts must be stopped now."