Food industry groups have joined forces with consumer advocates to press the Obama Administration to approve new food safety rules. The delay has resulted in a hold-up in the release of newly approved FDA funding. The unlikely allies worked together to successfully persuade Congress to increase FDA funding by 3 percent, with $39 million set aside to fund improvements in food safety efforts. The Office of Management and Budget says the new regulations are undergoing a routine review, and given the complexity of the issues they cover, the implementation delay is not unusual. Once the rules are drafted, they must be submitted for public comment.
Food companies are urging a speedy conclusion to the process so planned investments in food safety enhancements at the plant level can move forward. Consumer advocates, who along with food industry leaders, signed a letter to the administration calling for action, argue the delay is putting the public at risk of foodborne illnesses.