Review of the Food and Drug Administration's Role in Ensuring Safe Food

Type: Consensus Study
Topics: Food and Nutrition, Public Health, Diseases
Boards: Food and Nutrition Board, Board on Agriculture and Natural Resources

Activity Description

An ad hoc committee of the Institute of Medicine and the National Research Council will undertake a study to examine gaps in public health protection provided by the farm-to-table food safety system under the purview of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and identify opportunities to fill those gaps. The study will address the recommendations of the November 2007 FDA Food Protection Plan by evaluating the plan and identifying gaps and opportunities (recommendations) to fill the gaps. The committee's consensus report will include legislative, regulatory, and administrative recommendations and estimates of costs of such recommendations, as feasible. Specifically, the committee will:

  • Evaluate the Food Protection Plan (FDA Plan) in light of past reports directed at strengthening food safety including, but not limited to Ensuring Safe Food from Production to Consumption (IOM/NRC 1998), Scientific Criteria for Safe Food (IOM/NRC 2003), 2007 FDA Science Board report, and relevant GAO reports;
  • Identify strengths and weaknesses of the FDA Plan, factors that may limit its achievement, and needed revisions or additions; and
  • Identify and recommend enhancements in FDA's tools and capacity that are needed to implement a comprehensive plan and assure a risk-based preventive system, including in the areas of new regulatory tools and statutory authority; research mandate; resources required for research, scientific and technical infrastructure, standard setting, inspection, and enforcement; integration of programs with other regulatory and public health agencies involved in food safety surveillance, research and regulation at federal, state and local levels; and changes in organizational and leadership structures on food safety within the Department of Health and Human Services.

The project is sponsored by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The approximate start date for the project is September 29, 2008.

A report will be issued at the end of the project, in February 2010.

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