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Idaho Bill Seeks to Criminalize Administering COVID Vaccines

Two Idaho lawmakers have introduced a bill that would make it illegal to administer mRNA COVID-19 vaccines.

The bill, HB 154, was sponsored by Sen. Tammy Nichols and Rep. Judy Boyle — both Republicans.

“Notwithstanding any other provision of law, a person may not provide or administer a vaccine developed using messenger ribonucleic acid technology for use in an individual or any other mammal in this state,” the text of the proposed legislation reads.

If passed, anyone who administers the vaccine will be guilty of a misdemeanor.

Sen. Nichols cited the vaccine being “fast-tracked” and potentially causing blood clots and heart issues as her motivation for the bill.

“I think there is a lot of information that comes out with concerns to blood clots and heart issues,” Nichols said, according to a report from KTVB.

Nichols told the outlet that she is finding that the vaccine rollout “may not have been done like we thought it should’ve been done.”

“There are other shots we could utilize that don’t have mRNA in it,” Nichols said.

The bill will have to pass through the House Health & Welfare Committee before it can go to the House floor for a debate.

In January, Sen. Nichols also introduced a bill to amend the Idaho Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act to prohibit “vaccine materials” in food.

According to a report from the Idaho Capital Sun, the bill would prohibit “the manufacture, sale, delivery, holding or offering for sale of any food that contains a vaccine or vaccine material unless the food labeling contains a conspicuous notification of the presence of the vaccine or vaccine material in the food.”

“This is sort of a newer issue that’s come to pass,” Nichols told the Senate Commerce and Human Resources Committee. “I can tell you right now that in California they’ve been given grants to start introducing vaccine products into food for human consumption.”

“People want to know what’s in their food,” Nichols said. “I do know of mRNA is one they are looking at trying to add into, right now, lettuce, for public consumption.”

KTVB reports, “according to a University of California Riverside press release from 2021, researchers at this school were given a $500,000 grant to test if mRNA can be hosted in plants like lettuce and spinach, with a long-term potential goal for people to choose to grow them in their own gardens — if the attempt is possible. It is unclear if Nichols was referring to this study in particular.”

Jules Bernstein, the public information officer for UC Riverside, told KTVB that their study is only an experiment and no genetically engineered food containing vaccines currently exists.

“Even if such a thing were possible, there is a very long distance between a successful laboratory experiment and any kind of implementation. Like any drug, we fully expect any commercial product resulting from this research would be highly regulated,” Bernstein said. “Lawmakers, as well as companies who commercialize drugs, generally determine where and how medicines are sold, not the researchers who develop them. It is extremely doubtful that such a thing would be sold without some kind of regulation.”

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