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US suit could chill govt efforts to keep food safe. Del Monte Fresh Produce challenges ban on Guatemalan canteloupes

Friday, September 2, 2011

A major fruit company's lawsuit against the Food and Drug Administration could have a chilling effect on regulators' efforts to get tainted food off the market.

Florida-based Del Monte Fresh Produce is striking back at the administration with a lawsuit after it halted imports of its Guatemalan cantaloupes, saying they may be contaminated with salmonella.

Such a lawsuit is extremely rare, and the threat of litigation could make officials more reluctant to tell the public about the possibility of contamination in food.

Original source: Associated Press