Lawsuit seeks FDA action on food safety - The Packer

Lawsuit seeks FDA action on food safety

08/31/2012 01:58:00 PM
Tom Karst

The Washington, D.C.-based Center for Food Safety has brought a lawsuit against the Food and Drug Administration and the Office of Management and Budget for their failure to issue regulations required by the Food Safety Modernization Act.

The environmental advocacy group filed the lawsuit Aug. 30, because food safety rules have been unlawfully delayed by more than a year and a half, according to a release.

The lawsuit seeks a court to issue a deadline requiring the FDA to enact Food Safety Modernization Act regulations, according to the release. The lawsuit would also prohibit the Office of Management and Budget from delaying FDA compliance with the deadline.

“If the Obama administration has lost the political will to make FSMA a reality, we’re here to help them find it,” Andrew Kimbrell, executive director of Center for Food Safety, said in the release. “It’s a disgrace that a crucial, lifesaving law sits idle while the bureaucracies of FDA and OMB grind along without a hint of results. The American people shouldn’t have to wait another second for safer food policies that are already law.”

David Gombas, senior vice president of food safety and technology for the United Fresh Produce Association, said it is hard to determine who is holding up the food safety rules.

“If I had to make a phone call to find out what its status was, I wouldn’t know who to call,” Gombas said Aug. 31.

Critics say the delay in the food safety regulations puts Americans at risk.

“Parents having to worry if feeding melon to their child will lead to hospitalization or even death is unconscionable,” Michele Simon, policy consultant for the Center for Food Safety, said in the release.

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NC  |  September, 01, 2012 at 12:41 PM

The Food and Drug Administration is the oldest comprehensive consumer protection agency in the United States federal government. The agency, charged with protecting public health, has been criticized for its failure to monitor the flood of imported foods, drugs and medical devices. In January 2011, President Obama signed legislation that gave the F.D.A. new powers to police foreign foods. For instance, the law for the first time gave the F.D.A. the authority to order companies to withdraw foods suspected of being contaminated. Previously the F.D.A. could only ask manufacturers to withdraw suspect foods. The legislation was also meant to change the mission of the F.D.A., focusing on preventing food- borne illnesses rather than reacting after an outbreak occurs. Dr. Margaret Hamburg, commissioner of the F.D.A., said that the passage of the bill “laid the critical foundation for a prevention-based 21st- century food safety system.” The law directed the agency to inspect at least 600 foreign food facilities within a year, then increased that number every year afterward. But instead of increasing the agency’s budget to perform those inspections, House Republicans voted to cut it. Source: New York Times

September, 04, 2012 at 11:21 AM

What do these comments always mention imported foods when most of the problems with contamation is coming from domestic growers. it is not fair

NJ  |  September, 04, 2012 at 09:28 AM dogs-lie-pushes-suit-forcing-fda-go-after-small#comments

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