In Wake of 'Baby Formula Crisis,' FDA Creates Food Safety, Nutrition Program
Some food safety advocates say the move is not enough
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will create a senior position to oversee food safety and nutrition after recent foodborne-illness crises, including a baby formula shortage, exposed major flaws in the agency’s structure and culture.
The move is part of Commissioner Robert Califf's reorganization of the FDA's food policy apparatus. The agency's duties are split between pharmaceuticals and medical devices on one side and food safety and nutrition on the other. But FDA leaders concede that its food responsibilities have received short shrift, leading to avoidable safety problems and long-running unresolved debates over nutritional and labeling requirements.
"You've ended up with a sort of jigsaw puzzle that doesn't fit together," Califf said in an interview. "What we're doing here is creating a unified program that has clear lines of authority, clear lines of reporting, a concerted effort to create efficiency, the development of an enterprise-wide information technology system to support the operations and a single leader to whom it reports."
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