Sarah Gallo is Vice President of Product Policy at the Consumer Brands Association (CBA). In her role, Sarah holistically oversees Consumer Brands' policy leadership on smart regulation issues, from advocacy through education to marketplace solutions. Prior to joining CBA, she served as Vice President of Agriculture and Environment for the Biotechnology Innovation Organization, where she led the organization's strategy across agriculture, food systems, energy, and bio-based manufacturing. Earlier in Sarah’s career, she held roles at CHS Inc. and the National Corn Growers Association and served as Agriculture Counsel with the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Small Business. She graduated from Boston University with a B.A. in Marine Biology.

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In this episode of Food Safety Matters, we speak with Sarah [24:28] about:

  • CBA’s key recommendations for FDA during its restructuring, and how those suggestions are   informed by looking at FDA modernization through the lens of the consumer
  • Specific changes that CBA believes could help FDA transition from one-size-fits-all inspections to a tailored, risk-based model for inspections
  • CBA’s partnership with Stop Foodborne Illness and FDA, which aims to improve recall communication through the use of modernized channels and digital technologies
  • CBA’s call to FDA to standardize labeling and “last mile” communication in e-commerce food sales, and the Association’s work to support FDA’s development of such standards
  • How digital tools that are already being leveraged by industry—like SmartLabel technology—can be better used to modernize labeling, and why nutrition and consumer transparency must go hand-in-hand when thinking about front-of-pack labeling
  • Why FDA action regarding regulation for chemicals of concern in food packaging—such as PFAS and BPA—is urgent to avoid a wave of contradictory, state-by-state legislation 
  • The benefits of public-private collaboration in the creation of FDA guidances for industry, as well as guidances that CBA believes are important for FDA to develop.

Dr. José Emilio Esteban was sworn in as Under Secretary for Food Safety on January 4, 2023. In this role, Dr. Esteban leads the Office of Food Safety at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), overseeing the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS), which has regulatory oversight for ensuring that meat, poultry and egg products are safe, wholesome, and properly labeled. Prior to his confirmation, he was chief scientist at FSIS. In this capacity, Dr. Esteban served as the primary scientific advisor on matters of public health and food safety that affect the mission of the agency, with primary responsibility for scientific initiatives within the FSIS Office of Public Health Science (OPHS). His prior positions at FSIS include Science Advisor for Laboratory Services and Executive Associate for Laboratory Services. Prior to joining FSIS, Dr. Esteban worked in several positions at CDC. He holds a doctorate in veterinary medicine (D.V.M.), an M.B.A., and a master's degree in Preventive Veterinary Medicine, as well as a Ph.D. in Epidemiology.

In this episode of Food Safety Matters, we speak with Dr. Emilio Esteban
[3:08] about:

  • Food safety, food security, and the global food system post-pandemic
  • USDA's Proposed Regulatory Framework to Reduce Salmonella Illnesses Attributable to Poultry
  • The steps that need to be taken to recruit and retain more veterinary doctors to address the ongoing shortage of D.V.M.s and ensure a safe food supply
  • Recent developments around cell-cultured/lab-grown meat
  • Ongoing work with the Agricultural Research Service on "raised without antibiotics" claims
  • Dr. Esteban's three key principles of leadership.

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