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The consensus is that FDA's proposed changes to the food safety program do not go far enough. Do you agree?

I am always honored to be asked by my friends at Law360 to contribute my thoughts on hot topics in my areas of practice, including in the food and beverage space. I am quoted in this recent Law360 article which discusses the FDA;s recent budget proposal that was issued in follow-up to the organizational changes FDA Commissioner Dr. Robert Califf made earlier this year after receiving the recommendations of the Reagan-Udall Foundation. The Foundation was commissioned to evaluate the FDA's food safety program following the widespread incidence of infant formula contamination linked to an Abbott Laboratories facility in Michigan.

Of the FDA's proposed $7.2 billion dollar budget for 2024, only $128 million is allocated for food safety programs. While $128 million is a lot of money, both consumer advocates and industry leaders believe that this is not enough to move the proverbial needle toward a safer food supply. Moreover, Dr. Califf's proposed appointment of a deputy commissioner for human foods has been roundly criticized as falling well short of the dramatic structural changes in the agency that many have been seeking for decades.

What do you think? is the FDA merely "rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic," as some of argued? And if that is so, what has to happen before we stop taking the safety of our food for granted and we start making the kind of changes that will result in a safer food system for our country and for other countries?

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In its proposed budget for 2024, the agency is seeking more money and more ways to monitor food safety — but attorneys wonder if the proposals go far enough.


fda, food safety