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Del Monte Lawsuit Against FDA Could Have Major Effects On Food Safety

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Del Monte Fresh Produce filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA)  after they halted the importation of Guatemalan cantaloupes, saying they might be contaminated by Salmonella. The cantaloupes represented nearly a third of the cantaloupes imported by Del Monte, who said the FDA based their decision on “erroneous speculative assumption, unsupported by evidence.”

Del Monte has filed a notice of intent of a lawsuit against Oregon Public Health and senior epidemiologist, William Keene, for their part in the ban. Dennis Christou, a Del Monte vice president said, “Responsible government agencies must be careful to protect public confidence and not inflame public fears by making statements about the safety of a particular food product or producer without sufficient evidence or without conducting a reliable investigation.”

Michael Doyle, Director of the Center for Food Safety at the University of Georgia, who has advised the FDA on food safety issues, told Bloomberg that a dangerous precedent could be set by Del Monte’s lawsuit. “More often than not the public health authorities and the epidemiologists are correct,” Doyle said. “If you start putting public health officials in the crosshairs of the lawyers it’s probably going to have a major dampening effect on whether foods are recalled in time to prevent a substantial amount of illnesses.”

The lawsuit could become a test for the science that traces and determines outbreak sources. disclaimer: This article: Del Monte Lawsuit Against FDA Could Have Major Effects On Food Safety was posted on Thursday, September 1st, 2011 at 7:41 pm at and is filed under Food Poisoning Lawsuits.

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