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FDA Seeks To Dismiss Food Safety Rules Lawsuit



About 3,000 deaths are caused by food-borne illnesses and about 48 million people, or one in six Americans, get sick from food contamination every year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Creating new rules for food safety is too complex a task to be completed quickly and a lawsuit seeking to compel government action should be dismissed, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Reuters reports the FDA said that though it was behind schedule in modernizing food safety regulations as set out in a law signed in January 2011, the agency’s broad role in regulating a $450 billion domestic and imported food business requires additional time.

“The enormity and scope of the task given to FDA cannot be overstated,” the FDA said in a motion filed Friday in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.

The motion comes in response to a lawsuit filed in August by the Center for Food Safety and the Center for Environmental Health, both non-profit public interest advocacy groups.

The groups allege the FDA is failing to implement and enforce the Food Safety Modernization Act, which is aimed at preventing food-borne illnesses that cause thousands of deaths each year.

The groups allege that government officials have repeatedly missed mandatory deadlines for issuing final regulations required by the law, and asked the court to order officials at both the FDA and the Office of Management and Budget to start enforcing the law.

About 3,000 deaths are caused by food-borne illnesses and about 48 million people, or one in six Americans, get sick from food contamination every year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

 

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