The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has until Dec. 20 to issue a draft of its proposed intentional adulteration rules under the Food Safety Modernization Act, according to a ruling by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. The ruling stems from a lawsuit filed by the Center for Food Safety, which sued FDA after the agency failed to meet deadlines for releasing FSMA rules. At that time, the court established Nov. 30, 2013, as the final deadline for releasing all draft FSMA rules. FDA appealed that decision, but the court of appeals has denied the motion for a stay of the injunction while that decision is appealed. However, the court has granted FDA a 20-day extension in light of setbacks that were likely caused by the recent federal government shutdown. According to the decision, FDA will have until Dec. 20 to publish draft proposed rules concerning intentional adulteration of food. As one of several prevention strategies outlined by the FSMA, Congress has tasked FDA with developing regulations to protect against intentional adulteration of food, including establishing science-based strategies to protect the food supply from vulnerabilities. Once implemented, the intentional contamination rules will help prevent a terrorist attack on the food supply, according to the Center for Food Safety. Sandra Eskin, director of the Food Safety Project for Pew Charitable Trusts, said that while she was looking forward to the release of additional rules, she did not think FDA was intentionally holding up the process. “FDA really is doing its best to get these rules out,” Eskin said.