Quantcast

Lawsuit Forces FDA to Roll out Pivotal Food Safety Law

Food

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.

 

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Artist's conception of solar islands in the open ocean. PNAS

Millions of solar panels clustered together to form an island could convert carbon dioxide in seawater into methanol, which can fuel airplanes and trucks, according to new research from Norway and Switzerland and published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences journal, PNAS, as NBC News reported. The floating islands could drastically reduce greenhouse gas emissions and dependence on fossil fuels.

Read More Show Less
Marcos Alves / Moment Open / Getty Images

More than 40 percent of insects could go extinct globally in the next few decades. So why did the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) last week OK the 'emergency' use of the bee-killing pesticide sulfoxaflor on 13.9 million acres?

EcoWatch teamed up with Center for Biological Diversity via EcoWatch Live on Facebook to find out why. Environmental Health Director and Senior Attorney Lori Ann Burd explained how there is a loophole in the The Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act under section 18, "that allows for entities and states to request emergency exemptions to spraying pesticides where they otherwise wouldn't be allowed to spray."

Read More Show Less
Sponsored

Zero Waste Kitchen Essentials

Simple swaps that cut down on kitchen trash.

Sponsored

By Kayla Robbins

Along with the bathroom, the kitchen is one of the most daunting areas to try and make zero waste.

Read More Show Less
View of downtown Miami, Florida from Hobie Island on Feb. 2, 2019. Michael Muraz / Flickr

The Democratic candidates for president descended upon Miami for a two-night debate on Wednesday and Thursday. Any candidate hoping to carry the state will have to make the climate crisis central to their campaign, as The New York Times reported.

Read More Show Less
A pumpjack in the Permian Basin. blake.thornberry / Flickr

By Sharon Kelly

On Monday, the Wall Street Journal featured a profile of Scott Sheffield, CEO of Pioneer Natural Resources, whose company is known among investors for its emphasis on drawing oil and gas from the Permian basin in Texas using horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing, or fracking.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
Pexels

By Craig K. Chandler

The federal government has available to it, should it choose to use them, a wide range of potential climate change management tools, going well beyond the traditional pollution control regulatory options. And, in some cases (not all), without new legislative authorization.

Read More Show Less
Denis Poroy / Getty Images

By Dan Gray

Processed foods, in their many delicious forms, are an American favorite.

But new research shows that despite increasing evidence on just how unhealthy processed foods are, Americans have continued to eat the products at the same rate.

Read More Show Less

By Sarah Steffen

With a profound understanding of their environmental surroundings, indigenous communities around the world are often cited as being pivotal to tackling climate change.

Read More Show Less