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FDA Criticized Over “Top-To-Bottom” Review


Brian Ronholm, Director of Food Policy for Consumer Reports and previously, Deputy Undersecretary for Food Safety at the USDA, is criticizing the U.S. FDA over restraints imposed on a comprehensive review of operations.  The Reagan-Udall Foundation was commissioned to conduct a review of structure and operations with the objective of providing recommendations to improve intradepartmental communication and the overall efficiency of the Agency. 

Ronholm reports that the Reagan-Udall Foundation will not consider the Center for Veterinary Medicine, depriving the reviewers of a critical component of FDA activity.  Ignoring the CVM confirms the need for radical change since it confirms the culture of fragmentation and is contrary to the principal of a “One Health” approach to both human and animal disease endorsed by the Agency. 


Consumer groups and industry trade associations have previously called on the FDA to harmonize the Agency’s diverse structural entities involved in food safety. EGG-NEWS has previously noted that appointing foundations, however well intended, to conduct structural reviews is an exercise in futility, wasting time and providing cover to avoid constructive action.

Food safety in the U.S. should be based on an independent and committed Agency that in the U.S. would comprise the food-related responsibilities of the FDA and the FSIS component of the USDA.


Despite the federal funds allocated to the FDA for food safety, the Agency has consistently demonstrated deficiencies and has failed to implement the Food Safety Modernization Act intended to proactively protect consumers.