By Marion Nestle, January 31, 2011 - 8:32am
Michael Taylor, Deputy Commissioner for Food at the Food and Drug Administration and long a proponent of food safety, gave a speech on January 27 outlining the FDA's plans for implementing the new food safety law. [Editor's note: To read Taylor's past contributions to the Atlantic Food Channel, click here.]
First, we'll hit the ground running ... So we embark on implementation with considerable momentum.
Second, the vast workload that comes with the new law—over 50 new regulations, guidances, programs and reports to Congress—means we have to set priorities for our work...you can expect timely completion of the rulemakings required to set standards for produce safety, preventive controls, and intentional adulteration ... And you can count on us giving high priority to building the new import oversight system.
Third, we are absolutely committed to full, transparent engagement with all stakeholders—industry, consumers, public health experts, and other government colleagues—to take advantage of their expertise and diverse perspectives.
Finally, you can count on FDA to maintain its strong commitment to public health and to achieving the new law's public health goal in a manner that is in keeping with the consensus that gave rise to the legislation.
And, in a world of finite resources, we'll change how we work to make the best use of every resource we have ... Make no mistake, resources will be a continuing issue as we work to build the new food safety system.
As I hope I've made clear there is a lot FDA can and will do to put the new law into action and build the foundation for a new system, but completing the system—fulfilling the Congressional vision embedded in the new law—will require new resources and investment.
We look forward to working on this issue with our colleagues in industry and the consumer community, and with leaders in Congress.