"Frist Infects Defense Bill"
On Sunday night, Frist and Hastert inserted an stealth provision into the 2006 Defense Appropriations spending report “that protects vaccine manufacturers from product liability claims in the event of a viral pandemic, such as one caused by avian flu.” But not only is this provision unrelated to defense appropriations spending, it was inserted after conferees had signed off on the report and will benefit foreign-owned corporations:
Observers familiar with the procedural history of conference reports said that they were unaware of any precedent for inserting language after conferees had signed off on the report. … If the law is applied as Frist and other supporters intend, it will represent enormous financial relief for a small group of largely foreign-owned pharmaceutical companies that have worked to promote vaccine liability protection.
Sanofi Pasteur, one of the corporations set to gain from Frist’s provision, has given $5,000 to the senator’s PAC.