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.