Court Rejects FDA’s “Target Timeframes” for FSMA Regulations and Orders Publication by June 30, 2015

June 30, 2013

By Ricardo Carvajal

A federal district court rejected FDA’s proposed “target timeframes” for issuance of regulations to implement major provisions of the Food Safety Modernization Act ("FSMA"), finding them to be “an inadequate response to the request that the parties submit a proposal regarding deadlines that can form the basis of an injunction.”  For a summary of prior activity in this case, see here).  However, the court also rejected Plaintiffs’ proposed deadlines as “overly restrictive in light of FDA’s showing of the complexity of the task… and its showing of diligence in attempting to discharge its statutory duty to promulgate regulations.”  Further, the court rejected Plaintiffs’ plea to eliminate OMB review “absent some indication that the OMB is using its authority to unduly delay promulgation of the regulations.” 

Recognizing the need for an adequate comment period and OMB review, the court ordered that proposed regulations not yet published in the Federal Register be published by November 30, 2013, with all comment periods closing by March 31 2014.  Final regulations must publish in the Federal Register by June 30, 2015.  In essence, these publication dates show deference to FDA’s “target timeframes” – an indication of the court’s reluctance to take too strong a hand in driving FSMA implementation.