A new coalition between various food safety stakeholders has been formed with the purpose of advocating for a modernized, effective Human Foods Program at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that is focused on preventing foodborne illness outbreaks and other food safety incidents, as well as decreasing diet-related chronic diseases. The FDA Foods Coalition comprises consumer advocates, food industry representatives, public health groups, and state and local regulators, who will work together to educate policymakers, media and the public about improving the governance of the FDA Human Foods Program.
The coalition supports FDA’s proposed redesign of the Human Foods Program and looks forward to working with Commissioner Robert Califf, M.D., and the new Deputy Commissioner for Human Foods Jim Jones to implement these changes and facilitate greater transparency, accountability, and meaningful stakeholder engagement.
The diverse coalition began working together following FDA’s response to the infant formula crisis, calling upon Dr. Califf to appoint a leader empowered to address pain points in the agency’s foods program. In response, Commissioner Califf ordered an external review of the program by the Reagan Udall Foundation, which concluded that the FDA’s culture, organizational structure, and governance model undermine its effectiveness. In September 2023, Dr. Califf appointed Jim Jones as the first Deputy Commissioner of its Human Foods Program, who is charged with leading the redesign and unification of the agency’s human foods activities.
The coalition believes that industry needs a strong, unified, and modernized FDA to facilitate innovation, growth, and the production of safe, nutritious foods that are accessible and affordable for all consumers. The coalition is advocating for FDA to shift away from its traditional reactionary model to a modernized, prevention-oriented oversight model that aligns with industry’s efforts to ensure food safety.
The Coalition includes Consumer Reports, the International Dairy Foods Association, the American Frozen Food Institute, the Association of Food and Drug Officials, the Center for Science in the Public Interest, the Consumer Brands Association, the Consumer Federation of America, the Environmental Defense Fund, the Environmental Working Group, the International Fresh Produce Association, the Peanut and Tree Nut Processors Association, Stop Foodborne Illness, and Western Growers.