Court Denies Challenge to NOSB Substance Review Process
A federal court has dismissed a lawsuit alleging that the National List’s sunset review process violates the Administrative Procedures Act. Ctr. for Food Safety v. Perdue, No. 15-1590 (N.D. Cal., entered May 24, 2018). The court found that the notice promulgating the alteration of the review process was not a final action because it did not “alter any criteria or standards for the evaluation of a particular substance.” The challenge further presented ripeness issues because the harms, such as the inclusion of certain compounds in organic foods, may never materialize, the court noted. The notice does not predetermine the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA’s) decision to renew or remove a substance, the court held, and the plaintiffs are not precluded from later asserting harms from an “allegedly wrongful renewal. Plaintiffs must accordingly await that decision for the Court to properly review USDA’s actions,” the court concluded.