During Commissioner Andriukaitis’ visit to the U.S. to discuss a variety of issues related to antimicrobial resistance, food waste, food safety and global health challenges, Food Safety Magazine was able to spend a few moments with him, discussing his role in the Commission and his goals for his trip to Washington.
In addition to his overarching roles in public health and food safety issues, he noted his focus in areas of food waste and sustainability, and the development of tools to monitor the production of safe and healthy food, all modern-day challenges of the global food supply.
He noted that “distrust in science is very high” and that a fundamental question is “Do we believe in science?” He insists that scientific approaches are imperative for producing safe food and that sound scientific assessments are required to make progress toward the goals of more sustainable food production, reducing food insecurity and developing sound regulatory frameworks for animal feed, pesticide use and animal welfare, among others. To restore this trust, Commissioner Andriukaitis promotes communication strategies that are transparent and disseminate facts using different approaches that can reach the public on a level that makes an emotional connection.
During his visit, Commissioner Andriukaitis will meet with the Commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Dr. Scott Gottlieb. His goals are that they understand each other better and find common goals in public health and food safety, such as reducing duplication in audits, sharing Good Manufacturing Practices and developing scientifically sound regulatory guidelines. He desires to build bridges in all areas between the two agencies and looks forward to new opportunities to achieve these goals. His obvious passion for public health and food safety ensures that he will meet with much success during his time here.