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FDA Conducting Evaluation of Key Agency Activities to Strengthen Operations

The Food & Drug Administration has announced plans to commission external agency experts to conduct a comprehensive evaluation of its food program.

FDA

SILVER SPRING, Md. — In response to increased calls for improvements to its food program, including a bill to create a new agency, the Food & Drug Administration has announced plans to commission external agency experts to conduct a comprehensive evaluation.

"While America's food supply is safe, and our foods program experts have significantly contributed to the availability of more nutritious food options for consumers, the program has been stressed by the increasing diversity and complexity of the nation's food systems and supply chain," FDA Commissioner Robert M. Califf, M.D., said in a release. "Fundamental questions about the structure, function, funding and leadership need to be addressed. The agency's inspectional activities related to the program also need to be evaluated, particularly in light of stresses related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

"The Reagan-Udall Foundation, an independent partner organization for the agency, will be working with an external group of experts on the evaluation. The Foundation will report its findings, including an initial assessment of the processes and procedures, resourcing, and organizational structure for the Foods program and CTP, to the agency within 60 business days of initiation. It may take some time to implement any recommended changes, but I am committed to addressing them and communicating them to the public in a timely manner. It is my belief that this effort will continue strengthening the FDA and better position the agency to deal with the many immediate public health issues we are facing, while preparing for the many scientific challenges and fascinating opportunities of the future."