Were it not for all the meetings about infant formula, FDA Commissioner Robert M.Califf’s schedule would look like those of his many predecessors, emphasizing drugs and medical devices.
After his narrow confirmation to serve a second stint as FDA Commissioner, the renowned cardiologist faced a food safety crisis when the FDA’s regulatory action closed the Abbott baby formula factory in Michigan.
With the Abbott factory offline, an acute shortage of baby formula followed, creating another crisis for the Biden administration. Califf’s public schedule shows his first meeting over “Infant Formula issues” between FDA and Abbott on May 13, 2022. Two days later, there was a second meeting, both virtual.
A third virtual meeting occurred on May 18, 2022, and involved Frank Yiannas, deputy commissioner for food and personnel from the Kroger grocery chain. The next day, the FDA Commissioner held another virtual meeting with Danone Northern America, Happy family Brans and Nutricia.
Continuing that day, there were two more virtual meetings, one with Reckitt and the other another session with Abbott laboratories personnel.
The FDA, led by Califf, met face-to-face during the following week in Silver Springs, MD, with Abbot Laboratories personnel. The FDA Commissioner met virtually on the same day with the American Academy of Pediatrics about the baby formula crisis.
The next baby formula meetings were held virtually on June 3, 2022, with officials from Reckitt and then with “several groups interested in the infant formula issue.”
A short time later, on June 7, 2022, Califf dialed into a meeting on infant formula issues with health care provider group leaders.
Califf’s next meeting with Abbott Laboratories was held virtually on June 15, 2022. Two days later, Califf met virtually with “several industry groups interested in the infant formula issues.”and again virtually with Reckitt’s staff.
On June 24, Califf again participated in another virtual meeting for several industry groups on the formula issue. He participated on June 30, 2022, in another virtual meeting with industry groups on the formula issue.
Califf’s final June meeting came on the same day in a face-to-face session with representatives of Bubs Australia and Bondi Partners. It was held at Silver Springs, MD.
July was packed with infant formula meetings led by Commissioner Califf. On July 4, he met virtually and separately with the Global Group, Abbott, Gerber Products, Reckitt Danone, Bellamy’s Organic, Kendal Nutricare, and Perrigo.
The schedule continued through July 8, 2022, with meetings with the Association of American Medical Colleges, the American Academy of Family Physicians, and several more industry groups.
Another meeting for the Industry group with Califf is reported for July 15, 2022.
For a food safety issue to dominate the FDA’s Commissioner’s schedule is unusual. In this instance, some say a worsening baby formula shortage is responsible.
Some examples of the other events that have drawn out Dr.Califf include:
-Clinical Trials Transformation Initiative Executive Committee
-2000 STAT Breakthrough Science Summit
-2022 Health Datapalooza
-National Institutute for HealhCare Managment
-Drug Information Association
-American Association for Cancer Research
-National Academyof Medicine
-Prescription and Illicit Drug Summitt
-Health Journalism 2022
-World Medicine Innovation
-American Association for Thoracic Surgery
-Society for Clinical Trials
-The Vaccination Collaborative
Youth Tobacco Prevention
-National Black Family Cancer Awareness
Editor’s note: A meeting with the Consumer Healthcare Products Association was removed from this report as it was incorrectly listed as an infant formula meeting.
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