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FDA Reorganizes Veterinary Medicine to Combine with Office of Foods

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced Monday in the Federal Register that the agency has reorganized the Foods and Veterinary Medicine (FVM) program. Under the reorganization, which was completed in October, the Office of Foods is now the Office of Foods and Veterinary Medicine, led by Michael Taylor, the Deputy Commissioner for Foods and Veterinary Medicine.

According to FDA, “The Office of Foods was created in 2009 to elevate leadership on food and feed safety and to reflect the vision that success on food and feed safety requires an integrated approach that leverages resources. This reorganization will further the integration that has already been achieved and better position the program to implement the FVM Strategic Plan for 2012-2016 and the Food Safety Modernization Act, which emphasizes a systematic approach to risk-based priority setting and resource allocation.

“Under the reorganization, the Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (CFSAN), led by Michael Landa, and the Center for Veterinary Medicine (CVM), led by Bernadette Dunham, continue to report to Deputy Commissioner Taylor and remain the major operating units with responsibility for leading operations and regulatory policy development in their respective areas.”

The reorganization includes the following changes within the immediate office of the Deputy Commissioner for Foods and Veterinary Medicine:

- The position of Associate Commissioner for Foods and Veterinary Medicine is established, with Linda Tollefson serving as the full deputy to the Deputy Commissioner.

- The Office of Resource Planning and Strategic Management, under the leadership of Erik Mettler, is established to provide a focal point and leadership for risk-based priority setting and resource allocation as well as budget formulation and other strategic management topics, working in collaboration with CFSAN, CVM and the Office of Regulatory Affairs.

- The Office of Coordinated Outbreak Response and Evaluation Network (CORE) now resides within the immediate office, led by Kathleen Gensheimer, Chief Medical Officer.

- The Communications and Public Engagement Staff is created, led by Sharon Natanblut, to provide leadership for advancing the public’s understanding of the program’s actions, decisions, research, initiatives, and other efforts.

- The position of Chief Science Officer/Research Director has been created to lead and integrate laboratory and research and methods development activities and to lead collaboration with the external research community. David White is currently acting in the position.

- The Executive Secretariat Staff is established to unify executive secretariat support for FVM program leadership. The position is currently vacant.

Here are additional senior managers in the immediate office and their responsibilities:

- Camille Brewer, Director of International Affairs: Coordinates and manages significant international matters internally and externally, working with other U.S. government agencies, foreign governments and international organizations.

- Rebecca Buckner, FSMA Chief Implementation Manager: Responsible for managing the implementation of the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act.

- Jeff Farrar, Director of Intergovernmental Affairs and Partnerships-With colleagues from Office of Regulatory Affairs, CVM and CFSAN: Provides leadership on FDA initiatives to build a national integrated food safety system with state and local governments and managers high-level interagency issues at the Federal level.

- Jessica Leighton, Senior Advisor for Nutrition Science and Policy: Provides scientific, policy and strategic expertise on nutrition issues, leading new initiatives and overseeing intra- and interagency activities.

-Sharon Mayl, Senior Advisor for Policy: Manages policy development, coordination, and implementation of cross cutting and high profile issues, ensuring consistency of approach across programs.

These changes will strengthen the overall program and better enable FDA to meet its public health and consumer protection responsibilities related to food and veterinary medicine, according to the agency.

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