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No further FDA extensions allowed on FSMA deadlines, judge rules

The US Food and Drug Administration can no longer extend deadlines on releasing policies mandated by the Food Safety Modernization Act, according to a judge's ruling in the US District Court of Northern California.

In the Center for Food Safety's lawsuit, originally filed in August 2012, Judge Phyllis Hamilton sided with the Center for Food Safety in her ruling against FDA over FSMA deadlines, which were originally ordered by Congress to be completed in July 2012.

"The Court ruled that FDA violated the law in April 2013, and set an injunction remedy in place in June, with new deadlines for draft and final rules," the center wrote in a press release. "[In July], FDA moved for reconsideration or a stay of the injunction with regard to the deadlines for two of those rules, food transport safety and intentional adulteration. Judge Hamilton denied FDA's motion and kept firm the dates for completion of all the rules."

"The court understands the FDA's position and is in sympathy with it, but remains of the opinion that the dispute here is between the FDA and Congress," Hamilton said. "This court is unwilling to grant extension after extension, or to permit the FDA to continually delay publication of this rule, in the face of the clear Congressional directive that this be a closed-end process."

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