The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) asked a federal judge to stop the agency from approving new dairy products until a “more transparent” process is in place to better explain why the FDA approved the products.
The request comes as the agency faces increasing scrutiny for approving new products without fully disclosing how they were made.
The FDA has been criticized by consumer groups and food safety advocates for not thoroughly explaining how their approvals were made public.
The agency has also been accused of overreacting to the outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease in 2015 that killed more than 6,000 people and sickened more than 4,000 others.
The FDA has also faced growing criticism for not properly labeling milk and cheese as safe for children, despite the fact that it has been the subject of several recent lawsuits by parents who allege they are at risk for the disease.
“As the nation struggles to recover from a pandemic that killed nearly 6,300 people, we are compelled to protect the health and well-being of all Americans,” FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said in a statement.
“This is especially important as our nation continues to grapple with how to protect Americans from the pandemic.”
The new filing is the latest in a series of court battles between the FDA and the dairy industry.
Last month, a judge in New York granted a request by the industry to block the FDA from reviewing the FDA’s decision to approve the first of five dairy products approved by the agency.
In the past two months, the FDA has sought to delay the FDA approval for the third and fourth products, as well as the approval of the second-most-recent milk product, as it investigates the allegations against the FDA.