by Mary Rothschild | Aug 25, 2011
In an unusual move, Del Monte Fresh Produce has filed suit against the U.S. Food and Drug Administration saying "erroneous speculation, unsupported by scientific evidence" led to a March recall of Guatemalan cantaloupes tied to an outbreak of Salmonella Panama.
The 25-page complaint, filed in U.S. District Court in Maryland, seeks to lift an FDA restriction so the company can resume importing fresh cantaloupes from Guatemala. The suit challenges FDA's import alerts, which allow the federal regulator to detain, without physically examining, products that either violate or could potentially violate the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act.
Del Monte is the largest importer of cantaloupes into the United States; about 27 percent of its cantaloupes come from the Guatemalan supplier in question.
In a news release, Del Monte Fresh said FDA and several state health agency officials erred in saying that cantaloupes from a Guatemalan farm and packing facility were likely contaminated with Salmonella. "In fact, neither the FDA nor any state health agency in the U.S. has offered evidence or data to support the FDA action," the statement said.
Continue reading, "Del Monte Sues FDA Over Cantaloupe Recall, Import Restrictions" at Food Safety News.