Dr. Susan Mayne, who leaves government on May 31, has told the Alliance for a Stronger FDA, that the Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (CFSAN) she has led since 2015 is having a “banner year.”

Mayne told the group that advocates for the FDA budget that CFSAN received $32 million “across several different initiatives, including work on maternal and infant health. emerging chemical and toxicological issues, and FDA’s New Era of Smarter Food Safety.”

The CFSAN director, who is retiring, said $7.5 million in new infant formula funding is being used to hire 16 additional experts to modernize scientific requirements, enhance IT systems to streamline review processes, and work with the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine on a study of the U.S. infant formula market that compares it with that of the EU.

CFSAN uses $2.3 million of New Era money to share data and information through data trusts and predictive analysis. Another $4.5 million for food additives is being used to hire four additional staff to work on modernizing information systems and tools for pre and post-market safety reviews.

For the upcoming Fiscal Year 24 budget, which begins on Oct. 1, 2023, Mayne pointed to the recent Reagan-Udall report that said FDA’s human foods programs need additional personnel, and financial and IT resources to achieve Congressional mandates. Mayne noted that the evolution found an estimated annual return of $119 in nutrition-related public health benefits for every $1 invested in CFSAN.

For FY24, the FDA has requested an increase of $85 million for core CFSAN programs above FY23, for a total of $509 million. The largest increase $41 million, is for Healthy and Safe Food for All, work on infant formula, Closer to Zero goals on heavy metals, and food chemical reassessment.

CFSAN gets 97 percent of its budget from congressional authority. Congress has passed 13 new legislative mandates since 1979, which are workload expansions. CFSAN has authority over 220,000 FDA-registered facilities. It has seen its work with imports increase from 100,000 shipments in the 1990s to more than 15 million last year.

Mayne is the second top official to leave FDA this year. Frank Yiannas, the FDA deputy commissioner for food policy and response, put in his last day on Feb. 24. Yiannas and Mayne apparently did not get along in the decentralized FDA leadership structure.

The plan now, according to FDA Commissioner Robert Califf, is for the agency to recruit a new Deputy Commissioner for Human Foods who will report directly to the Commissioner. The new Deputy Commissioner will have authority over all FDA food programs.

Overall, the Alliance supports a request for $3.914 billion in FDA funding for FY24. The Alliance says the FY24 “budget request places a strong emphasis on strengthening food and nutrition programs.”

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