The New York Times editorial on Sunday called on the Obama administration to move key Food Safety Modernization Act rules forward so that the rulemaking process can begin.

In an editorial titled, “Food Safety on Hold” the New York Times argued that while First Lady Michelle Obama champions healthy food as part of her platform, the administration “does not seem to have gotten the message” because there are a couple key food issues on hold.

“There are now three important food issues on hold,” read the editorial. “And health and nutrition advocates worry that they are stalled for the election season, or longer, because of pushback from the food industry.”

The first issue the paper cites is the fact that vital rules central to FSMA, which President Obama signed into law in January 2011, are now months overdue, having been mandated to come out in January 2012. Four critical rules are still under review under the White House’s Office of Management and Budget.

(See: Key FSMA Rules Continue to Languish at OMB, Months After Deadline.) 

“The Food Safety Modernization Act, signed into law by President Obama in January 2011, was designed to shift the focus of federal regulators from reacting to deadly outbreaks — like last summer’s listeria-tainted cantaloupe — to preventing them. The legislation would require new safety plans from food companies, better standards for fresh produce, and more vigilance from importers and inspectors.”

The Times also called out the administration for not cracking down on advertising unhealthy food to children and calorie labeling mandates.