CivilEats discusses Critical Food and Farm Rules Have Been Rolled Back Amid Pandemic. Inspection suspensions, enforcement freezes, and rule rollbacks by the EPA, USDA, and the FDA could have dire impacts on the food system.
While the coronavirus pandemic claims more lives and precious resources throughout the U.S., the federal government has been suspending regulations, canceling inspections, and rolling back regulations that experts warn could significantly impact the country’s food system.
Much of the action has centered around the three agencies that oversee the nation’s food safety net and regulate pollution from industrial farms: the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the Department of Agriculture (USDA). As the agencies have put on hold rules meant to prevent foodborne illnesses and industrial pollution, experts worry that some companies may take advantage of the lull and do less to protect public health and the environment.
“The administration has stepped away from its responsibility and empowered regulated industries to take charge and do as they please,” said Hannah Connor, a senior attorney at the Center for Biological Diversity.