Del Monte Fresh Produce has launched legal action against the US Food & Drug Administration over import restrictions on cantaloupe melons.

The FDA imposed restrictions on cantaloupes from Guatemala following an outbreak of salmonella in the US earlier this year, which it linked to melons from the country.

But Del Monte said FDA claims that Guatemalan melons were likely to have been contaminated with salmonella were based on “erroneous speculation” and “unsupported by scientific evidence”, meaning import restrictions were unwarranted.

“The restrictions imposed by the FDA on Del Monte Fresh Produce’s ability to import cantaloupes are unnecessary and not supported by the facts,” said marketing VP Dennis Christou.

Del Monte Fresh is the largest importer of cantaloupe melons into the US. It is seeking an immediate injunction to lift the restrictions.

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