Arlington, VA – Today, FMI – The Food Industry Association Chief Public Policy Officer Jennifer Hatcher issued the following statement in light of U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner Robert Califf’s announcement on steps the agency is taking to strengthen its Human Foods Program following the release of the Reagan-Udall Foundation report last December.
“FMI welcomes the announcement today by Commissioner Califf to enact reforms within the FDA to strengthen the administration of the Human Foods Program, specifically through the creation of a deputy commissioner for human foods with clear authority and a clear reporting line to the commissioner.
“We agree with FDA’s determination that this individual should have the authority and resources needed to lead the program and fulfill the public health mission of the agency through science-based policies to prevent the contamination of foods and advance the protection of the food supply. We further expect this position to reduce unnecessary regulation and paperwork, foster more efficient and effective decision-making and communication, eliminate silos within the agency and help create a culture that is proactive and open to change and continuous improvement.
“Food safety and nutrition is of paramount importance to the food industry. We consistently work to prevent food safety issues and maintain and enhance the safety of the food supply chain so shoppers can have confidence that the items they purchase are safe and nutritious. It is vital that FDA leadership remains committed to engaging the food industry in a constructive manner to ensure the agency’s programs are focused on prevention and are workable for the regulated community without excessive and unnecessary requirements. They must also be efficient and practical in improving the safety of foods grown, manufactured, sold and consumed in the United States.
“We stand ready to work with FDA leadership and other government and industry stakeholders to ensure the reforms outlined today are successful in improving and promoting public health, safety and a more efficient supply chain.”