One of the top safety officials at the Food and Drug Administration is reportedly stepping down from his position, after voicing frustrations about infant formula shortages and the agency's "decentralized structure."
Frank Yiannas, who was the FDA deputy commissioner for food policy and response, had reportedly originally planned to resign in February of 2022 but decided to stay on with the administration to try and help guide through the infant formula shortage. According to The Hill, he originally wanted to step down due to the agency's "decentralized structure of the foods program."
In his resignation letter to FDA Commissioner Robert Califf, Yiannas discussed the improvements that have been made since that time, saying that he believes it was now the right time to leave the administration.
“With the Abbott facility now reopened, infant formula availability more prevalent, and — very importantly — the necessary monitoring, data systems, and insights now in place through the 21 Forward platform to help address the current and any future infant formula supply chain challenges, I believe the time is right for me to leave and vacate this position,” Yiannas wrote.
An FDA spokesperson issued a statement in response to the resignation, thanking Yiannas for his work.
“The agency thanks Mr. Yiannas for his service and dedication to the FDA’s public health mission. Mr. Yiannas has served as a valued member of the agency’s leadership team, spearheading important initiatives including the New Era of Smarter Food Safety to help create a safer and more digital, traceable food system for our country,” the statement read.
Prior to joining the FDA in 2018, Yiannas previously worked in food safety for Walmart and Disney. He is expected to officially leave his position on February 24th.
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