Revising the rule will cause more delays in what has already been a lengthy process. Taylor said the new proposed rules are expected by next summer, with a deadline for final rules in June 2015. The FDA is legally required to finalize the rules by that date after they were sued by an advocacy group last year for missing deadlines included in the original 2010 law.
Taylor said the agency was not trying to scale back the rules, but make them more workable.
“We’re not rolling back on our food safety purpose. We’re trying to find the right way to get there,” he said.
Caroline Smith DeWaal, a longtime food safety advocate with the Center for Science in the Public Interest, said the law will force the FDA to ensure that food is safer.
“While FDA can make the proposed rules more practical for farmers, under the law the agency can’t sacrifice consumers’ safety,” she said.
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