A panel on Tuesday called for changes in the federal agency that oversees most of the US food supply, saying renewed leadership, a clear mission and greater urgency are needed to prevent disease outbreaks and promote good health.
But the report He stopped short of recommending specific steps to be taken, instead offering several scenarios such as creating a separate food agency within the US Department of Health and Human Services; placing the FDA commissioner directly in charge of the foods program; Or create a Deputy Commissioner for Food.
Leadership and culture must also be restructured to better respond to food safety crises and chronic public health problems, according to a 51-page report from the Reagan Udall Foundation, a group separate from but closely associated with the FDA.
The report found that “the lack of a single, clearly defined person” to lead the food program led to a culture of “persistent disruption” at the agency.
The Food and Drug Administration oversees human and veterinary drugs and medical devices. Along with much of the American food supply. The Ministry of Agriculture also supervises some food products.
Experts called the report a “strong first step” to address the long-running internal issues that have contributed to problems such as the deadly tainted infant formula crisis that led to a national shortage this year.
“It’s basically the recognition that there needs to be a cultural change,” said Brian Ronholm, director of food policy at Consumer Reports.
But others said the agency should have decided on the best restructuring option.
“They laid out all the options,” said Bill Marler, a food safety attorney who testified before the committee that conducted the review. “I kind of wish they picked one.”
FDA Commissioner Dr. Robert Calif said he would consider what changes to make after reviewing the report and consulting with experts inside and outside the agency.
Meanwhile, Kalev said he will closely oversee the foods program himself until changes are made.
“I will be fully involved in ensuring the program emerges from this transition,” he said. He said in the current situation.
Cliff called a review of the FDA’s food aspect in July, giving the committee 60 working days to come up with recommendations for the foods program. The application did not seek evaluation by a veterinary medical center or programs that oversee cosmetics and nutritional supplements.
From the outset, critics were concerned that the timeframe was too short, that leaving the veterinary center out of the review was a mistake and that the institution — whose mission is to support the FDA — might not be the appropriate entity for an impartial evaluation.
Calif said the FDA will provide general updates early next year.
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