Earlier this week, it was announced that James Gorny, Ph.D. will be leaving his position as Produce Marketing Association’s (PMA’s) vice president of food safety and technology. He will now assume the newly created role of senior science advisor for produce safety at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). In this capacity, Gorny will develop and coordinate implementation strategies for the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA).
“My job is going to be about building bridges,” says Gorny. “Between the states and the FDA, for example, because of the huge role states have in inspecting farms. But also between all parts of the supply chain and the FDA because not only do we have to make sure everyone knows what they need to do, we also have to make sure we arrive at ways of doing those things that are as practical as possible. I’ve heard loud and clear in my role at PMA that produce businesses have a strong desire to get FSMA implementation right.”
Gorny’s new job will also involve facilitating, coordinating and advising FDA senior leadership regarding policies, programs and high priority scientific matters affecting the safety of fresh produce. He will be responsible for helping to turn FSMA’s new produce safety regulations into realities. The task touches every part of the supply chain--farms, processing plants, distributors, transportation, retailers and every other stop between the field and the plate. As with all new regulations, the greatest initial need is for regulatory guidance, education and training to provide for harmonized, effective and efficient compliance and enforcement.
Gorny had a previous stint with FDA as a senior advisor for the Office of Food Safety before joining PMA 5 years ago.
Gorny’s will take his FDA seat on February 5, 2018, reporting to Susan Mayne, Ph.D., director of the FDA Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition in College Park, MD.