Rules Delay Puzzles Food Industry and Food-Safety Advocates


Author: Lizzie O'Leary and Aaron Cooper

05/03/2012 - Most of the provisions in a landmark food safety law which passed 16 months ago still haven't gone into effect and are stuck in a rule-making process at the White House, four months overdue.

That leaves 80% of the U.S. food supply operating largely under safety laws dating from the Great Depression, and safety advocates and the food industry alike are puzzled.


The FDA Food Safety Modernization Act was signed by President Obama on January 4, 2011. It allows the Food and Drug Administration to take action to prevent outbreaks, increase the number of inspections and mandate recalls.

Many of the provisions, however, haven't been implemented because the White House Office of Management and Budget hasn't released the rules which the law created, which were due on January 4, 2012.

"We are back basically operating mostly under the law that is 70 years old because the new protections, the new safeguards in these rules have not been put in place," said Erik Olson, director of food programs for the Pew Health Group. "We are very worried all the effort that was put into this by all of these Democrats and Republicans and independents in Congress by the business community and the health community will really be for naught if we don't move forward with these protections."


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