Consumer Group Supports FDA's Changes to Food Safety Regulation

Advocate Andy

Coordination of efforts should lead to safer food pipeline for American consumers

A leading consumer advocacy group is expressing support for the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) planned changes to how food safety is regulated.

The Consumer Federation of America (CFA) said it supports the creation of a new Deputy Commissioner for Foods who will have broad authority over food safety regulation and assume responsibilities now scattered over multiple FDA departments.

“The absence of a clear, overarching leader for the FDA foods program has undermined the agency’s organizational culture, its communications, its ability to attract resources, its partnerships with state and local regulators, and its responsiveness in a crisis," said Thomas Gremillion, Director of Food Policy at CFA. "By giving one leader the power to set priorities within the foods program, and to direct resources accordingly, this reorganization will help the agency to break down the silos and hopefully, convince Congress to provide the funding needed to ensure a safe and healthy food supply for all Americans."

Gremillion noted that the new office will allow for stronger coordination among not only FDA departments but also state agencies.

"The new Office of Integrated Food Safety System Partnerships should foster better coordination with state agencies, who often conduct food safety inspections on behalf of the FDA. The creation of a new center focused solely on nutrition is also very important, given the huge economic toll that diet-related disease is taking on U.S. consumers."

CFA said the reorganization responds to many concerns expressed by consumer groups in recent years and is an important first step in ensuring better food safety.

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Andy Spears is a middle Tennessee writer and policy advocate. He reports on news around public policy issues - education, health care, consumer protection, and more.

Nashville, TN

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