Court orders FDA to set new FSMA implementation deadline

A federal judge ruled in response to a lawsuit brought by two consumer advocacy groups that FDA must set a timeline for enacting food safety reforms contained in FSMA. Center for Food Safety initiated the legal action, and was subsequently joined by the Center for Environmental Health. Congress mandated FSMA provisions be in place within 18 months when it was passed in 2011, but progress has been slower than anticipated. In her ruling, Judge Phyllis Hamilton wrote, “Congress signaled its intention that the process be close-ended, rather than open-ended. Thus, the court finds imposition of an injunction imposing deadlines for finalization of the regulations would be consistent with the underlying purposes of the FSMA.” Read the full decision here.