On Wednesday, Center for Food Safety (CFS) filed a federal lawsuit against the Trump administration for failing to abide by the mandatory deadlines Congress set in the 2016 genetically engineered (GE) food disclosure law.
The law required that its regulations be finished by two years after its enactment, or July 29, 2018. Earlier this week Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), which is assigned to draft and issue the new labeling rules, missed the final rules deadline.
So on Wednesday CFS went to Court, in order to get a mandated schedule for completion and judicial oversight of USDA, to ensure timely completion of the rules.
“Americans have waited for decades for GE foods to be labeled, which Congress knew when it ordered USDA to get this done in a reasonable timeframe,” said George Kimbrell, CFS Legal Director. “Trump, Perdue, and their corporate lobbyists may want indefinite delay and keeping Americans in the dark, but the law doesn’t permit it.”
The comment period on the USDA proposal ended July 3.
CFS recently filed a separate lawsuit over USDA’s unlawful withholding of internal agency documents related to the GE disclosure rulemaking.
Last year, CFS won a lawsuit over USDA’s failure to publicly release a critical study related to the use of electronic or digital disclosures for GE foods. The USDA study showed that major segments of Americans, including disproportionately rural, minority, elderly, and poor Americans, would not have sufficient access to this form of disclosure.