© 2023 Boise State Public Radio
WebHeader_3.png
NPR in Idaho
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations
Stay up to date on the 2023 legislative session – subscribe to our Legislative Round-Up newsletter today.

Three new bills head to Committee, including one prohibiting 'vaccines or vaccine materials' in food

Image of the Idaho Statehouse.
Samantha Wright
/
Boise State Public Radio
Idaho Statehouse

The Senate Commerce and Human Resources Committee is set to hear three different proposals on food labeling, unemployment benefits and health group insurance.

Sen. Tammy Nichols (R-Middleton) first presented an amendment that would require labeling on foods that contain vaccines or vaccine materials.

“This is sort of a newer issue that's starting to come to pass,” she said. “I can tell you that right now in California, they've been given grants to start introducing vaccine products into foods for human consumption.”

Nichols did not elaborate on what she meant by “vaccines or vaccines materials” nor did she cite the grants in question. Sen. Jim Guthrie asked what this might mean for the livestock industry and said he expected further questions from the agricultural community.

Scientists are studying how to put vaccines into some edible plants as an alternative to injections, but the idea is still in the research phase and vaccines are currently not distributed through food. A video using a fake tweet circulated online this week claiming Bill Gates supported delivering vaccines this way. Viewed hundreds of thousands of times, it has since been debunked.

Another proposal was brought up by Jani Revier, head of the Department of Labor. That bill would allow military spouses being transferred or victims of domestic violence to qualify for unemployment insurance.

“Idaho is in the minority of states that don't recognize these two exemptions,” said Revier. “We're proposing to add these just to be more in line with some of the opportunities that are provided in other states.”

A third bill from Steve Bailey, Deputy Director for the Department of Administration would require appointing an Idaho School District Representative to the Group Insurance Advisory Committee.

All three proposals are headed to Committee hearings next.

As the Canyon County reporter, I cover the Latina/o/x communities and agricultural hub of the Treasure Valley. I’m super invested in local journalism and social equity, and very grateful to be working in Idaho.