Last week, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced that the agency had sought an external review of its approach to food safety.astonishing announcementReleased by FDA Commissioner Dr. Robert Califf, the review will focus primarily on work carried out by FDA’s Office of Food Response and Policy (OFPR) and Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (CFSAN).
In his statement, Califf emphasized that the U.S. food supply is safe. But he also noted problems with the agency’s food safety inspection system, saying “the increasing diversity and complexity of the nation’s food system and supply chain” raises “fundamental questions about structure, function, funding.”[,] and FDA leadership.”
as politics, New York TimesThe external FDA scrutiny comes as the agency has been hammered for its role in the ongoing shortage of infant formula, and others reported. However, all (or even most) of this review’s advice on baby food is likely to be untenable. Consider that Califf’s announcement doesn’t mention infant formula. What’s more, the infant formula population is plagued by recent biases. In fact, there are no shortage of non-formulation reasons why FDA’s food safety oversight has drawn attention from critics.
Last year, for example, the FDA celebrated the tenth anniversary of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), which the agency and many supporters of the law touted as the broadest, most impactful, and most important reform of FDA food— — A security authority for over 75 years. It is not.as i am in a Pillar Marking the first (and hopefully last) decade of FSMA, the CDC’s estimate of the number of foodborne illness cases in the U.S. per year has remained unchanged following FSMA adoption and implementation.
“Lest you think these CDC estimates are just not updated in a while,” I wrote, “the agency reported that [in 2021] That ‘[t]The incidence of most common food-borne infections has not declined over the years. ‘” This means that for a decade, the FDA’s big signature approach to preventing foodborne illness before it happens is expensive, but it doesn’t make people or food safer. Why not? That’s because the shortcomings of FSMA have be incorporated into law.
“Even when implemented to absolute perfection” – as I detail in the book, Bite the hand that feeds us: Fewer, smarter laws will make our food system more sustainable— “The FDA’s own best-case scenario is [two key FSMA rules pertaining to human food] will stimulate a 2.6% reduction in total foodborne illness cases per year, “I have explain. But FSMA hasn’t even achieved this impressive improvement yet.
I know FSMA stinks. But what about the FDA?
Even before FSMA’s tenth anniversary, some within the agency were busy finding a better way.One such plan, which I detail in 2020 Pillarinvolving what the FDA calls a “new era of smarter food safety,” another senior FDA official — Frank Yiannas — identified this approach as “the approach the FDA will take over the next decade” to improve food Safe results.
Yiannas’ proposal was not detailed. But I explained that it appears to be designed to enhance the use of technology to improve traceability and reduce the spread and impact of future foodborne illness cases.
If FSMA is about prevent foodborne illness From Happenings, ‘New Age’ Is About What FDA Should Do When foodborne illness does occur. For an agency that touts the preventative nature of FSMA as the biggest food safety improvement in 75 years—along with its allies in corporate America, food safety agencies and Congress—“New Age,” coupled with an outside news review, it seems. Acknowledging FSMA is a disaster.
Most recently, in April, an in-depth politics investigation Entering the FDA found numerous issues were found within the same exact OFPR and CFSAN offices, which Califf determined this month now requires an external review.superior politics I’m investigating Pillar, concluded that the FDA had “failed to meet U.S. consumer expectations for food safety.” Critics cited in Politico articles The agency’s oversight of the food supply has always been described as “ridiculous,” “impossible,” “broken,” “Byzantine” and “a joke.”
This month’s FDA announcement on external food safety reviews also coming as a congress again Consider stripping the agency of food safety oversight powers in favor of a new unified food safety agency. The proposal is the work of food safety advocates who blindly see FSMA as a panacea, not an albatross past and present.
“FDA has failed to meet its most basic food safety responsibility: inspecting facilities,” Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) Say Support the new bill. “Over the past decade, the number of inspections it performs has dropped by nearly 60%. And it’s worse: The drop came after Congress passed the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), a bill I wrote in 2011 that Instructs FDA to increase the number of inspections it performs.”
There is nothing inherently wrong with any entity – public or private, large or small – reassessing its approach to some key activities.But this is the FDA – which oversees about 80% of the nation’s food supply and is accused of decades Oversee the safety of this food supply. The fact that the FDA has now effectively relinquished its most important food-related role does not suggest that the agency — or lawmakers or consumers — should have confidence in its capabilities.What’s more, as politics return Reportthe organization created by Congress to conduct “external” reviews of the FDA — the FDA’s Reagan-Udall Foundation — “has a strong relationship with senior agency officials.”
Brian Ronholm, a former USDA official, said: “I will be eager to learn more details about how the foundation ensures that its processes are independent, especially given that the foundation’s purpose is to support the FDA duty of.” politics. When we get to the subject of the mission, the FDA has failed on the most important thing: improving food safety in America.