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The Washington Post reports that the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) is questioning the role that food industry lobbyists played in the development by the Bush Administration of bioterrorism-related food safety rules.

CSPI said that it believes that the meetings – which were conducted by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) with representatives of, among others, the Grocery Manufacturers of America (GMA) and the Altria Group (which owns Kraft) – may have resulted in weakened regulations.

At issue is the notice that must be given by food companies to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) when they import food from outside the US, and the record keeping that must be done for these shipments. CSPI says that the initial regulations were much tougher, but were weakened in the final regulations after the various lobbying sessions.

Both OMB and the FDA have denied that anything improper transpired.
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