FDA Missed Food Safety Reform Deadlines

The missed deadlines have been deemed unlawful by a federal judge.

A federal judge has reprimanded the Food and Drug Administration, calling its missed deadlines and lack of issued regulations unlawful. The Center for Food Safety and the Center for Environmental Health, two non-profit groups, filed a lawsuit against FDA for missing deadlines mandated by the Food Safety Modernization Act.

The law, in effect since 2011, required reform in seven areas: hazard analysis and preventive controls, on-farm packing of food, safe production of fruits and vegetables, protection against intentional adulteration, sanitary transportation practices, foreign supplier verification, and ensuring the neutrality of third-party food auditors. However, according to the judge's ruling, reform has been proposed for only three of the seven components.

FDA argued the timeframes for proposed reform were missed because the matters to be addressed were so complex. The agency and the two plaintiffs must now create a new schedule by May 20 for FDA compliance.

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