Did the White House Office of Management and Budget put public health at risk to make President Obama's reelection a safer bet? Working in deep secrecy for the past year, OMB blew off legal deadlines to hold up new Congressionally passed food safety rules that even the food industry supported. Now the Food and Drug Administratiion is seeking to dismiss a lawsuit by consumer advocates over the delay.
"The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is making a big effort to enact the delayed Food Safety Modernization Act, but the rules being developed are complex and need more time, the agency argued in a motion to dismiss a lawsuit over the delay, which was filed Friday.
The FDA submitted drafts of the four of the most critical rules mandated by FSMA to the White House’s Office of Management and Budget for review in December 2011, which is a normal step for economically significant regulations, but stakeholders and consumer advocates have been at a loss for why the rules have been under review for a year. The normal review limit is 90 days.
For the past year, consumer advocates have worried that presidential election politics put the rules on the back burner, so the administration could avoid the optics of 'job-killing' regulations — even if they are generally supported by the food industry and a bipartisan coalition. Throughout the review, FDA and OMB have insisted there are substantive issues to work through, but decline to provide details."