The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has taken a step toward issuing new food safety regulations aimed at thwarting terrorists.
On Friday, the agency sent the White House draft rules that are designed to protect the food supply.
According to a White House description, the new regulations will require producers to “protect against the intentional adulteration of food” and “establish science-based minimum standards” for dealing with “intentionally introduced” hazards to the country’s food supply.
“This rulemaking is part of a larger agency effort to focus on bolstering food defense throughout the food chain,” the White House said.
The regulations are under review at the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, which is tasked with conducting an interagency review of most new rules and regulations.
They were supposed to be finalized last July, but the FDA missed the deadline. The agency has said that it needs until 2015 to develop the complicated rule, which is unlike any regulation it has ever written before.
Last year, the Center for Food Safety sued the agency, charging that its delays in implementing this and other regulations under the Food Safety Modernization Act were costing lives. Last week, an appeals court gave the agency until Dec. 20 to propose the draft "intentional adulteration" rules.
The public will then be able to review the rules and give comments to the FDA before they are finalized.