Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Lawsuit Forces FDA to Roll out Pivotal Food Safety Law

Food
Lawsuit Forces FDA to Roll out Pivotal Food Safety Law

Following several courtroom losses, Food and Drug Administration (FDA) officials announced Thursday they would settle a lawsuit brought against them by the Center for Food Safety (CFS) regarding the much-delayed rollout of the Food and Safety Modernization Act.

“This is a major victory for the health and safety of the American people. The first major update to our food safety laws since 1938 must now be implemented in a close-ended, timely fashion,” said George Kimbrell, CFS senior attorney, in a prepared statement. “That means safer food for American families.”
Photo courtesy of Shutterstock

According to CFS, the settlement agreement with the FDA sets firm deadlines for the agency to fully enact the Food Safety Modernization Act, which was signed into law by President Obama back in 2011.

The agency will implement the following final rules: preventative controls for human and animal food (Aug. 30, 2015); imported food and foreign suppliers (Oct. 31, 2015); produce safety (Oct. 31, 2015); food transportation (March 31, 2016); and intentional adulteration of food (May 31, 2016).

“This is a major victory for the health and safety of the American people. The first major update to our food safety laws since 1938 must now be implemented in a close-ended, timely fashion,” said George Kimbrell, CFS senior attorney, in a prepared statement. “That means safer food for American families.”

The Food Safety and Modernization Act (FSMA) was passed to combat the epidemic of foodborne illnesses affecting one in six Americans annually. Under the original guidelines, Congress ordered the FDA to create new safety standards within 18 months.

After the agency failed to meet the deadlines, CFS sued The FDA argued that it could take as long as it saw fit to issue the regulations. 

In 2013, the federal court repeatedly rejected that position and ruled in CFS’s favor, maintaining that the FDA had violated the law.

“The FDA is committed to fully implementing the FSMA and to putting in place the modern, preventive framework envisioned by the law that will help to prevent foodborne illnesses and protect public health,” an FDA spokesperson told Food Safety News. “The agency is working as quickly and expeditiously as possible to meet our deadlines for the final rules, while also ensuring that we get these rules right.” 

A federal court will maintain supervision to ensure FDA compliance with the agreement.

Visit EcoWatch’s FOOD and HEALTH pages for more related news on this topic.

 

Ningaloo Reef near Exmouth on April 2, 2012 in Western Australia. James D. Morgan / Getty Images News

By Dana M Bergstrom, Euan Ritchie, Lesley Hughes and Michael Depledge

In 1992, 1,700 scientists warned that human beings and the natural world were "on a collision course." Seventeen years later, scientists described planetary boundaries within which humans and other life could have a "safe space to operate." These are environmental thresholds, such as the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and changes in land use.

Read More Show Less

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

A 3-hour special film by EarthxTV calls for protection of the Amazon and its indigenous populations. EarthxTV.org

To save the planet, we must save the Amazon rainforest. To save the rainforest, we must save its indigenous peoples. And to do that, we must demarcate their land.

Read More Show Less

Trending

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres delivers a video speech at the high-level meeting of the 46th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council UNHRC in Geneva, Switzerland on Feb. 22, 2021. Xinhua / Zhang Cheng via Getty Images

By Anke Rasper

"Today's interim report from the UNFCCC is a red alert for our planet," said UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres.

The report, released Friday, looks at the national climate efforts of 75 states that have already submitted their updated "nationally determined contributions," or NDCs. The countries included in the report are responsible for about 30% of the world's global greenhouse gas emissions.

Read More Show Less
New Delhi's smog is particularly thick, increasing the risk of vehicle accidents. SAJJAD HUSSAIN / AFP via Getty Images

India's New Delhi has been called the "world air pollution capital" for its high concentrations of particulate matter that make it harder for its residents to breathe and see. But one thing has puzzled scientists, according to The Guardian. Why does New Delhi see more blinding smogs than other polluted Asian cities, such as Beijing?

Read More Show Less
A bridge over the Delaware river connects New Hope, Pennsylvania with Lambertville, New Jersey. Richard T. Nowitz / Getty Images

In a historic move, the Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC) voted Thursday to ban hydraulic fracking in the region. The ban was supported by all four basin states — New Jersey, Delaware, Pennsylvania and New York — putting a permanent end to hydraulic fracking for natural gas along the 13,539-square-mile basin, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported.

Read More Show Less