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Farm Bill Amendment Could Delay Lifesaving Food Safety Regulations

July 12th, 2013
Center for Food Safety

Center for Food Safety Vows to Fight for American Consumers

Center for Food Safety (CFS) denounces a dangerous and unnecessary provision that was included in the pared-back Farm Bill that passed in the House of Representatives yesterday. 

The Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) will save lives by modernizing regulations to protect consumers. An amendment to the Farm Bill could delay implementation by requiring the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to conduct a redundant “scientific and economic analysis” of FSMA regulations before FDA can move forward. The amendment was offered by Representative Dan Benishek (R-MI) during previous Farm Bill proceedings and agreed to by a voice vote.

In a lawsuit brought by Center for Food Safety, a federal court ruled that FDA had violated the law by missing the Congressional deadlines and ordered FDA to work with CFS to produce a timeline for completion of the rules. After FDA failed to provide a timeline, the court ordered FDA to implement all regulations by June 30, 2015.

“This is an attack on American consumers. The FDA already conducts ‘scientific and economic analysis’ as part of its rulemaking authority. While people are becoming sick and even dying, industry looks for any opportunity to continue business as usual,” said Andrew Kimbrell, executive director of Center for Food Safety. “Center for Food Safety will continue its work to ensure that these lifesaving regulations are implemented by court-ordered deadlines.”   

“This attempt to delay implementation of lifesaving regulations offers no public benefit. Center for Food Safety calls upon public health leaders in the Senate to strip this dangerous amendment in conference committee,” added Kimbrell.

Foodborne illness is an ongoing epidemic that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates affects 48 million people – 1 in every 6 Americans – annually.  Over 128,000 are hospitalized every year and 3,000 tragically die. 

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About Center for Food Safety

Center for Food Safety is a national, non-profit, membership organization founded in 1997 to protect human health and the environment by curbing the use of harmful food production technologies and by promoting organic and other forms of sustainable agriculture.  CFS maintains offices in Washington, D.C., San Francisco, California and Portland, Oregon.  More information can be found at www.centerforfoodsafety.org.

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