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U.S. Judge Rules FSMA Implementation Requires New Deadlines

May 21, 2013

U.S. District Judge Phyllis Hamilton of Oakland, California has used her authority to chide the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for "admittedly" failing to comply with the mandatory rule-making schedule contained in the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). The judge recently found the FDA in violation of the law it has implemented to prevent outbreaks of foodborne disease.

Hamilton said the aggressive timelines in the law have turned out to be "unachievable," adding, "endless delay does not serve the purpose of the FSMA." The judge's decision is an academic victory for the Center for Food Safety, which sued FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg to help dislodge the FSMA rules from the elite regulatory unit in the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB).