In this episode of Food Safety Matters, we interview Conrad Choiniere, Ph.D., Director of the Office of Analytics and Outreach at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's (FDA's) Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (CFSAN), about his work leading FDA's Toxic Elements Working Group, as well as the agency’s efforts and considerations related to the Closer to Zero initiative, which aims to reduce the health risks posed by toxic elements in the U.S. baby food supply. We also review the results of FDA's Total Diet Study (TDS) related to toxic elements in baby food samples.
Additionally, we spoke to Kruti Ravaliya, M.S., Consumer Safety Officer in the Division of Produce Safety at FDA's CFSAN, about how FDA intends to implement Subpart E of the Produce Safety Rule—the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Proposed Rule on Agricultural Water—including the recently extended compliance dates for pre-harvest agricultural water requirements. Finally, Bob Ferguson, President of Strategic Consulting Inc., speaks about his latest Food Safety Insights column on the projects and priorities that food processors put on hold during the pandemic and are now revisiting.
As Chairman of the House Oversight Subcommittee on Economic and Consumer Policy, Congressman Krishnamoorthi initiated an investigation into toxic metals in baby food to find alarming levels from a variety of companies. In response, the Congressman has introduced the Baby Food Safety Act. In addition, the FDA responded to the Oversight investigation by introducing their “Closer to Zero” campaign, but the campaign does not go far enough nor fast enough.