The Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) has filed a lawsuit against USDA for its failure to protect the public from antibiotic-resistant strains of Salmonella.
In May 2011, CSPI filed a rulemaking petition asking USDA to declare four strains of antibiotic-resistant Salmonella, found in meat and poultry, as adulterants under the Federal Meat Inspection Act and the Poultry Products Inspection Act. In addition, the petition asked that a testing regime be developed that would allow these strands to be detected prior to product sale. More than three years have passed since CSPI filed the petition, and USDA has not responded. Now, CSPI wants the courts to force USDA’s hand. While USDA has remained silent, multiple Salmonella outbreaks have occurred and many strands of the bacteria are now resistant to commonly prescribed drugs—resulting in an increase in hospitalization.