The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is seeking dismissal of a lawsuit that asks for government action regarding modernized food safety regulations. The agency was sued by public interest groups who have been pushing for updated food safety regulations in response to the thousands of deaths and illness caused by food contamination each year.
Public Interest Groups File Lawsuit Against FDA
- In August 2012, the Center for Food Safety and the Center for Environmental Health filed a lawsuit against the FDA regarding food safety regulations.
- The public interest advocacy groups allege the FDA is failing to implement and enforce the Food Safety Modernization Act (which was set into law in January 2011).
- The groups also claim that the FDA missed several deadlines concerning the final draft of modernized food safety regulations that were required by law.
FDA Response to Lawsuit
- According to Fox News, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration says that although they previously agreed to terms laid out in a 2011 Food Safety Modernization Act, they now believe that additional time is needed to carry out such a "large task."
- The FDA says that an enormous effort has been put forth on their part concerning the development of the new regulations and that their request for more time is not unreasonable.
- Representatives for the Center for Food Safety maintain that, regardless of their excuse, the FDA is breaking the law set forth by Congress and essentially putting public health at risk.
Food Safety Statistics
The following statistics are provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:
- Approximately 1 in 6 (48 million people) suffers from food contamination each year.
- 128,000 are hospitalized for foodborne diseases annually.
- 3,000 die from foodborne illnesses every year.
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