"When health investigators identified imported cantaloupes as the source of a salmonella outbreak early this year, the importer agreed to a recall. But now that company, Del Monte Fresh Produce, is trying to block additional restrictions on melon imports, setting off an unusually public battle between the produce industry and food safety regulators.
The company, which is one of the country’s largest produce marketers, says the restrictions could damage its reputation, and it has sued the Food and Drug Administration to lift them.
The effort is being cheered by many in the produce industry, who often complain about what they call overreaching by regulators and welcome a company with resources pushing back.
But advocates of safe food said that it was extremely rare for a major food company to take such a publicly aggressive stance, and that they suspected Del Monte Fresh Produce was trying to bully regulators into thinking twice before pursuing recalls in the future..."