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Judge Says No More FDA Extensions on FSMA Deadlines

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration may no longer extend deadlines on releasing policies set forth by the 2011 Food Safety Modernization Act, according to a ruling by a judge in the U.S. District Court of Northern California.

Judge Phyllis Hamilton has sided with the Center for Food Safety (CFS) in a lawsuit against FDA over FSMA deadlines, which were originally ordered by Congress to be completed by July 2012. The suit was originally filed by CFS in August 2012.

“The Court ruled that FDA violated the law in April 2013, and set an injunction remedy in place in June, with new deadlines for draft and final rules,” CFS wrote in a press release. “Last month FDA moved for reconsideration or a stay of the injunction with regard to the deadlines for two of those rules, food transport safety and intentional adulteration. Judge Hamilton denied FDA’s motion and kept firm the dates for completion of all the rules.”

“The court understands the FDA’s position, and is in sympathy with it, but remains of the opinion that the dispute here is between the FDA and Congress,” Hamilton said. “This court is unwilling to grant extension after extension, or to permit the FDA to continually delay publication of this rule, in the face of the clear Congressional directive that this be a closed-end process.”

© Food Safety News
  • Tulito

    Se armo la gorda.

  • catdaddio42

    This would make more sense if the plaintiff was the Center for Produce Safety. The Center for Food Safety is a group of lawyers and activists who have no responsibility for feeding anyone. Their “job” is to tell everyone else what they should do, regardless of the implications to business or even making food available. Ask them about the Tester amendment and listen carefully to the implications of what they really believe about food safety. I am deeply suspicious of any group that is opposed to corporate enterprise outside the small farm production of organic food and whose founders are adherents to the Negative Population Growth movement. By the way, one tenet of that movement is that the carrying capacity of the earth is one billion people at the utmost maximum – and the current population estimate is already seven billion. Volunteer to be one of the six billion souls who you want to stop eating and we can talk.

    • Margaret Oneil-gieszinger

      You are right.

    • Margaret Oneil-gieszinger

      I agree however I can’t find anything about the Tester amendment on their website. What really bothers me about groups such as these is that they don’t really understand the issues. For instance, at what particular distance is a chicken considered to be in over crowded pens? Have they heard of avian influenza and the catastrophe that can have on human health if say chickens were all ‘free range’? I begin to wonder what species is most important to them.

      • J’Marinde Shephard

        ” I begin to wonder what species is most important to them.”
        I believe it is the rich, who surely SEEM to be a different species than most of us.

  • catdaddio42

    Don’t get me wrong, to me the FSMA reads like a solution in search of a problem. I’m very confident that our food is safe because the folks who provide us food are remarkably responsible and conscientious. There are small outbreaks, of course, and an occasional bad player. It also reads like classic government over-reach – the FDA estimates include 15,000 to 20,000 new agents to fully implement the law. This earlier article is a good summary of the Tester amendment – http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2011/11/powerful-coalition-gains-exemption-for-small-farmers/#.UhDzLD-E5jQ I’m not a lawyer so the fine print of the amendment eludes me. The rationale is that the regulations are just too expensive, but only for certain farmers. The take home message for me is that a huge number of farms will be exempt from the new laws about food safety. The idea is that no one of them can make a large number of people sick and their small potential impact is the extent of the safety “regulations” provided for when you consume produce from a small farm, which doesn’t sound very reassuring. By the way, the way a small farm is defined sounds like a lot to me, especially considering that a microbe outbreak that “only” affects a hundred people would sound alarms throughout the industry.

  • J’Marinde Shephard

    About time!

  • J’Marinde Shephard

    And as PS:
    They SHOULD have to refund ALL the tax-payer dollars they WASTED ignoring this and fighting it.

  • Corey J. Gilson

    If you can’t come up with rules, maybe the law is flawed and should be repealed…