"The Food Safety and Modernization Act ushered in the most sweeping food safety changes in 70 years. But the White House Office of Management and Budget has failed to meet at least three statutory deadlines to review and present rules on new safety standards for high-risk produce and imported foods, among other measures.
This morning a broad coalition of food safety advocates, including the Pew Health Group, STOP Foodborne Illness, Center for Science in the Public Interest and Food and Water Watch, plan to call on the Obama White House to respect the deadlines in the name of public health or explain why they are not being met.
Erik Olson, director of food programs for the Pew Health Group, said there is widespread support from both Democrats and Republicans for the new protections.
'We have been given no good reasons for the delay, which has been causing some real problems,' Olson said. 'In fact (because of the delays), the FDA just sent out a letter to industry saying that they are suspending enforcement of the new key protections under the law until the rules are finalized.'
Food safety groups are especially upset over delays in implementing two provisions of the law. One would require food facilities to conduct a hazard analysis and develop plans to reduce the risk of illness caused by their products. The other would require foreign suppliers to establish a program to verify the safety of their food products.,,"