This week, a U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) blog post authored by Commissioner Scott Gottlieb announced a list of goals the agency plans to tackle in 2018. The list, known as the “Unified Agenda of Federal Regulatory and Deregulatory Actions” (Unified Agenda), is published bi-annually and provides the American public with insight regarding what regulations are underway behind the scenes.
The Fall 2017 Unified Agenda appears to focus heavily on drug safety. However, there is a portion of the notice that directly addresses promoting food safety. It reads:
FDA continues to take steps to improve its oversight of food safety. To address critical issues related to the overall safety of the food we eat, FDA intends to propose a rule on lab accreditation, which would establish a program to accredit labs to do food safety testing and to require that these accredited labs be used in certain situations.
Additionally, in the Fall 2017 Unified Agenda, FDA committed to pursuing a rulemaking that will clarify registration requirements for food facilities to better align how facilities and farms that perform similar activities are treated under the preventive controls rules and the produce safety rule.
The notice released by FDA does clarify that the Fall 2017 Unified Agenda is not all-encompassing and that there are regulations that lawmakers are working on that may not appear within the latest list of the agency’s goals.