Statement of CSPI President Dr. Peter G. Lurie
The Food and Drug Administration’s proposed food program reorganization is a direct attempt to address the well-publicized challenges that program has faced. As outlined in our testimony before the Reagan-Udall Foundation Independent Expert Panel, those challenges included a confusing leadership structure, lack of clarity over communications processes, and an agency culture that inadequately emphasizes its food programs, particularly nutrition.
By elevating the program to be led by a Deputy Commissioner, streamlining reporting structures, creating a Center for Excellence in Nutrition, and clarifying the relationship between the Office of Regulatory Affairs and the food program, the agency has confronted each of these issues head on in a manner that is likely to improve efficiency and benefit the American people.
Poor diet is one of the top risk factors for preventable morbidity and mortality in this country. This new structure recognizes this reality and properly foregrounds the often-sidelined food functions at FDA.
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Note: Dr. Lurie was an Associate Commissioner of FDA from 2014-2017