FDA SHIRKED ITS DUTIES ON FOOD SAFETY
Claims food safety groups
September 01, 2012
(NATIONAL) -- The Food and Drug Administration missed seven deadlines to implement key food safety regulations, putting millions at risk of getting sick from tainted food, two nonprofit public interest groups claim in federal court.
Food safety groups claim FDA is shirking public duty on safety.
A report by courthousenews.com notes that the Center for Food Safety and the Center for Environmental Health sued the heads of the FDA and the Office of Management and Budget in federal court in San Francisco, claiming they failed to issue final regulations for the Food Safety and Modernization Act (FSMA).
The act, signed into law by President Obama last January, sought to help prevent food contamination instead of merely containing outbreaks.
The public interest groups say the FDA "has missed not one, not two, but seven critical deadlines, and counting, in failing to implement FSMA's major food safety regulations."
They maintain the agency's “unlawful delay” is putting millions of lives at risk from contracting foodborne illnesses. The lawsuit seeks to require FDA to immediately promulgate the FSMA regulations required by law and enforce self-executing sections of FSMA even without finalized regulations, according to the report which can be found here
Both groups note there have been "devastating outbreaks" of food poisoning since Congress passed FSMA, including listeria in cantaloupes and apples, and salmonella in cilantro and tomatoes.