The FDA Commissioner says the reorganization of the food side of the agency is still a work in progress, but promises that by fall it will be ready to submit to authorization entities. He says it will have an “empowered” deputy commissioner for foods.

Commissioner Robert Califf has been under fire for almost a year to do something about the shotgun organizational chart for the foods program that has created silos of bureaucracy with no single person in charge. In addition to having a deputy commissioner of foods, the plan calls for the creation of yet another office that will

Continue Reading FDA Commissioner presents vague plan for reorganizing the food side of the agency

After much hullabaloo, the FDA commissioner has revealed a rough draft of a plan to reorganize the food side of the Food and Drug Administration.

At the center of the plan is the creation — or recreation — of a deputy commissioner of foods post that was eliminated by Commissioner Robert Califf’s predecessor Scott Gottlieb. However, based on Califf’s announcement today, his plan to create a Deputy Commissioner for Human Foods does not provide the clear chain of command that everyone from Congress to consumer groups including STOP Foodborne Illness has been calling for.

“It’s a step in the right

Continue Reading Commissioner details his plan to revamp organization, and supervision at FDA
Commentary

It’s Dec. 24, do you know where your name is?

Here at Food Safety News we’ve been checking the year-end Naughty & Nice Lists and we’re ready to nominate some names. When it comes to candy or coal, one thing is as sure as Santa’s annual review — every year has its share of sugar plums as well as plum pits, and 2019’s been no different in that regard.

Some entries on our lists can be considered as representative of countless others.

For example, legislators on our Nice List are but a small sample of elected officials who are
Continue Reading We checked it twice: The good, the bad and on the bubble

The Senate committee charged with reviewing the nomination of Dr. Stephen Hahn as the next FDA Commissioner has approved his appointment by an 18-to-5 vote, sending the nomination to a Senator floor vote.  If confirmed by the full Senate, Hahn will succeed Scott Gottlieb to become the 24th FDA Commissioner in the history of the United States.

The successful Committee vote follows the Nov. 20 confirmation hearing by the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions. Since the two events, some healthcare groups that first supported acting commissioner Ned Sharpless for the job came out for Hahn.

That support
Continue Reading Senate ready for confirmation vote on Hahn as next FDA commissioner

A man who has been seeking changes to U.S. law since his son died from morphine intoxication in 2016 expects to see bills filed in April. His son wasn’t using drugs. It was unwashed poppy seeds, bought on Amazon.com and brewed as tea, that killed him.

The draft legislation expected to be introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate in early April. It would establish the definition of unwashed poppy seeds as “poppy seeds that have not been processed to adequately remove poppy straw, latex, or other contaminants that may contribute to levels of morphine, codeine, or other
Continue Reading Unwashed poppy seeds under fire on Capitol Hill and around the world

Del Monte Foods is recalling more than 64,000 cases of canned corn that was not properly processed, which can result in contamination by spoilage organisms or pathogens that can lead to life-threatening illness if consumed.

The multinational corporation sent the recalled Fiesta Corn with Red & Green Peppers to “multiple distributors and retail locations in 25 states and 12 international locations,” according to the company’s recall notice posted by the Food and Drug Administration yesterday.

Although FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb announced in recent months that the agency would begin providing the public with lists of retailers who receive recalled food
Continue Reading Del Monte recalls canned corn from 25 states, 12 countries for risk of toxins

A day after the CDC reported two dozen more people have been confirmed with Salmonella infections traced to eggs, a member of Congress asked the head of the Food and Drug Administration to explain what the agency has been doing to enforce the federal Egg Safety Rule.

Rep. Rosa DeLauro, D-CT, cited the current outbreak traced to eggs from Gravel Ridge Farms and an outbreak earlier this year that was traced to eggs from Rose Acre Farms in her Oct. 4 letter to FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb.

Investigators from the FDA and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have reported
Continue Reading U.S. representative wants to know what FDA is doing to ensure egg safety

Opinion

Editor’s note: The FDA’s Commissioner Scott Gottlieb and Deputy Commissioner for Foods and Veterinary Medicine Stephen Ostroff combined efforts for this column. 

We know how important it is to get produce safety right. Taking steps to prevent contamination of produce is the primary purpose of the Food Safety Modernization Act’s (FSMA) Produce Safety Rule. The FDA is committed to making sure that the standards designed to minimize the risk of contamination are workable, and that farmers have the information and tools needed to effectively implement them.

One of the resources now available to farmers is the On-Farm Readiness Review
Continue Reading FDA enforcement delay provides time to educate produce growers on safety

A special testing program showed more than 60 percent of corn and soybeans sampled by the Food and Drug Administration were positive for glyphosate and glufosinate residues in FY 2016, but none of the samples had levels higher than the legal limits.

The FDA released the herbicide data from the 2016 federal fiscal year on Oct. 1, along with its annual pesticide residue report. The agency tested for glyphosate, glufosinate, and 30 acid herbicides. Laboratory tests found glyphosate on 63 percent of corn samples and 67 percent of soybean samples. Test results for glufosinate showed 1.4 percent of corn samples
Continue Reading FDA says pesticide/herbicide levels OK in most food; glyphosate within legal limits

Opinion

During the recent Good Food Institute conference on cell-cultured meat, an industry executive remarked that he tries to stay away from politics and focus on his company and developing the technology. That certainly is an understandable approach, especially given the turbulent political climate we are experiencing. 

However, considering that this emerging industry is the focus of so much attention and investment, and is attempting to disrupt the status quo while incurring the ire of traditional agriculture groups, politics has a way of finding you in these situations.

Jurisdictional skirmish
Much is being made of this upcoming joint USDA-FDA meeting
Continue Reading There’s room on the hamburger bun for cell-cultured meat and politics