Food Safety Modernization Act Delays

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After many delays, missteps and ultimately a lawsuit the U.S District Court earlier this week issued a ruling which may result in some firm deadlines for FSMA rule-making. While hailed by some as progress for the most part this directive creates as many questions as it answers.

The decision states that all proposed rules must be published for comment by November 30, 2013 and finalized no later than June 30, 2015. The first question that comes to mind is what is meant by all rules. Are we truly to believe that an edict as wide reaching as FSMA can be wrapped up and finalized in 6 months? In the context of taking over 2 years to see the first 2 rules I can not be convinced that feat is achievable.

My mind then goes cynical and, with far to much experience with governmental consequences for not meeting expectations, I have to ask. What if FDA fails to meet the deadlines? How will they be held accountable? Will there be a final rush to publish ill-understood rules that make no sense to either the regulated or the regulators? Will this entire regulatory program really do anything to further ensure the safety of the safest food supply in the world?

Unfortunately I fear that this latest ruling simply introduces more questions and no answers and is continuing concern of the politicization of peoples lives and livelihoods. Hopefully more clarity to come…..