Robert M. Califf, M.D., M.A.C.C., Commissioner of Food and Drugs at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), recently published a statement about his intent to evaluate the agency’s Human Foods Program. Per Dr. Califf’s request, the Reagan-Udall Foundation will assess the Office of Food Response and Policy (OFPR), the Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (CFSAN), and relevant parts of the Office of Regulatory Affairs (ORA).
In his statement, Dr. Califf assures the public that the U.S. food supply is safe. However, due to stresses placed on the nation’s food systems and supply chain that have emerged in recent years, Dr. Califf believes it is necessary to address fundamental questions about the inspection activities, structure, function, funding, and leadership of FDA’s Human Foods Program. The decision to evaluate FDA’s food regulatory structure follows the recent infant formula safety and supply crises, which led to national scrutiny of FDA.
The Reagan-Udall Foundation is an independent organization and FDA partner that will collaborate with an external group of experts to evaluate the agency. Within 60 days of the evaluation’s commencement, the Reagan-Udall Foundation will provide a report of its findings, including an initial assessment of the processes and procedures, resourcing, and organizational structure for FDA’s Human Foods Program. Dr. Califf states that, although the implementation of recommended changes may take time, he is committed to addressing the changes and communicating them to the public in a timely manner.