Food manufacturers have a friend in Washington. Senate Republican Whip Mitch McConnell (R-KY) introduced a bill to shield the food industry from lawsuits by consumers who claim it is food companies’ fault that they’re fat.

McConnell said it’s clear the industry is about to become a target in the growing national effort to combat obesity. Not surprisingly, the National Food Processors Association is delighted with the proposed legislation.

“The threatened lawsuits against food companies—now being discussed at events such as the ‘how-to-sue’ meeting held recently in Boston—are absolutely the wrong way to address the serious issue of obesity. Unfortunately, this litigation offensive makes a legislative remedy such as the McConnell bill necessary,” said John R. Cady, NFPA’s President and CEO.

Many Capital Hill observers believe the legislation faces a tough fight, considering other unsuccessful efforts to limit liability lawsuits. But Cady said McConnell’s clout as Republican Whip and his experience dealing with tort reform gives the bill a chance.