One new food safety agency has been proposed

WASHINGTON – House Appropriations Committee Chair Rosa DeLoro and US Senator Dick Durbin have introduced legislation that would eliminate food safety oversight functions from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The Food Safety Administration Act establishes the Food Safety Administration under the Department of Health and Human Services. The only food safety agency will remove existing nutritional programs within the Food and Drug Administration, and leadership appointments will require Senate confirmation.

The legislation does not cover the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).

“Food safety is currently considered a second-class citizen by the Food and Drug Administration,” said Ms. DeLauro. “Currently, there are no food policy experts responsible for food safety at the Food and Drug Administration. This is unacceptable and contributes to a chain of product contamination and subsequent recalls that disrupts the supply chain, contributes to higher prices and, in many cases, leads to disease Consumer and death. Look no further than the recent infant formula crisis to understand the need for a single food safety agency, led by an expert in food policy, to ensure the safety of products brought to market.”

In his remarks to the FDLI’s 2022 annual conference in June, FDA Commissioner Robert Califf acknowledged the agency’s challenges and said the infant formula crisis highlighted the FDA’s need to “revamp and restructure” the agency’s food program.

“I want to be clear: The shortage of infant formula on our shelves was multifactorial, including a loss of focus on quality by a major company, market concentration, supply chain resilience issues, and insufficient federal authorities to ensure vital supply chains,” Mr. Califf said. “However, the crisis also exposes the shortcomings of the Food and Drug Administration, including structural and organizational deficiencies, process deficiencies, communication barriers, technological deficiencies, chronic funding shortfalls and, in some cases, a lack of Congressional authority to allow us to do what It is required to ensure the supply of safe and nutritious infant formula.

“We are currently conducting a focused post-procedure review of infant formula and a comprehensive review of the entire food program to determine the best course of action. When these reviews are complete, we will make any necessary changes and have the capacity to make them.”

The single food safety agency proposed by Ms. DeLauro and Mr. Durbin would remove existing nutritional programs within the Food and Drug Administration, and leadership appointments would require Senate confirmation. The Food Safety Administration consists of the Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (CFSAN), the Center for Veterinary Medicine (CVM) and the Office of Regulatory Affairs (ORA). The agency will be headed by the Director of Food Safety and appointed by the President.

The Food and Drug Administration will be renamed the Federal Drug Administration and will retain oversight of drugs, cosmetics, devices, biological products, color additives, and tobacco.

“In recent years, the Food and Drug Administration has been plagued by one failure after another — from failing to properly recognize the dangers of prescription opioids, to failing to protect children from e-cigarette products, to failing to properly ensure the safety of our nation,” said Mr. Durbin. that the Food and Drug Administration appears unwilling or unable to use its power to protect Americans from preventable disease and death. For this reason, Congressman DeLauro and I are introducing legislation to transfer all of the Food and Drug Administration’s nutritional responsibilities to a new agency that we hope will have more success in protecting foods in our children’s lunch boxes and on our dining room tables.”

The legislation has been endorsed by the Center for Food Safety, the American Consumer Federation, Consumer Reports, Advocating for Our Health, Environmental Working Group, Friends of the Earth, Healthy Future for Children, Stop Foodborne Illness, and the Center for Environmental Health.

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