08/11/2012 - It has been 19 months since President Obama signed into law the Food Safety Modernization Act, the first overhaul of the Food and Drug Administration’s food safety laws since the 1930s. But if you think the food supply has become markedly safer since then, think again.
The F.D.A. rules needed to carry out the law are still held up as a review by the White House’s Office of Management and Budget enters its eighth month. While coordinating suggestions from various agencies can take time, a delay of eight months and counting lends credence to the suspicions of consumer advocates who think election-year politics are at play, with Democrats trying to avoid Republican charges that rules kill jobs.
The budget office denies this, and can point to many rules that have been approved, including a crucial one reducing mercury emissions from power plants. But several important rules, like those on food safety, remain in limbo. Such delays call into question the Obama administration’s commitment to reforms that are needed to make government work better and more effectively.
Read the full editorial, Rules Delayed, Governing Denied, on the New York Times' website.