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Center for Science in the Public Interest v. FDA (V. vulnificus Petition)

In February 2012, the Center for Science in the Public Interest filed a citizen petition asking the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to establish a “performance standard” requiring companies to ensure that levels of a deadly bacterium called V. vulnificus are nondetectable in oysters and other molluscan shellfish sold for raw consumption. V. vulnicifus is the leading cause of deaths linked to seafood consumption in the United States and typically kills 15 people per year. To date, despite FDA’s longstanding awareness of the public health hazard posed by V. vulnificus, FDA has not provided a substantive response to CSPI’s petition. Public Citizen represented CSPI, which sued FDA to challenge the agency’s unlawful delay in responding to the petition. In response to the lawsuit, the FDA denied the petition, and CSPI voluntarily dismissed its suit.