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USDA and FDA Cooperation Continues to Ensure a Safe Food Supply

Posted by Shanker Reddy, Office of the Chief Scientist, Senior Advisor for Food Safety, Nutrition, and Health in Research and Science Health and Safety
May 30, 2018
USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue and FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, M.D. signing a formal agreement
USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue and FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, M.D. sign a formal agreement aimed at making the oversight of food more efficient and effective through coordination.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and USDA recognize that close communication and knowledge sharing is critical to ensuring a safe and abundant food supply for Americans and others.

As outlined in USDA Strategic Goal 7 (USDA FY2018-2022 Strategic Plan (PDF, 1.8 MB)), food safety is a priority at the Department. No fewer than six USDA agencies work to protect the public from the dangers of pathogens that may cause illness. From inspection of slaughter houses to innovations in processing, testing, and monitoring to keeping Americans informed, USDA may prevent as many as 25,000 illnesses a year.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ FDA regulates foods other than meat, poultry, and processed egg products that are regulated by USDA. FDA’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (CFSAN) provides policy and planning, inspections, and scientific research on issues related to the safety of foods, cosmetics and plant health. Together, USDA and FDA collaborate on food protection-related science, emergency response and preparedness.

USDA’s Secretary Sonny Perdue and Scott Gottlieb, Commissioner of Food and Drugs, signed an agreement to coordinate research efforts in food safety and related regulatory issues. The event formalized efforts started between program directors who recognized a need to share expertise in their respective sciences.

This agreement takes steps to increase clarity, efficiency, and potentially reduce the number of duplicate regulations. For example, when a canned soup facility produces both chicken noodle soup and tomato soup, it is subject to regulation by both agencies. Going forward, ways to reduce inspection inefficiencies, while upholding safety standards will be identified.

Streamlining can reduce costs on industry and free up government resources to target areas of high risk.

Further, the agencies committed to increase efficiency of the regulatory processes specifically for biotechnology products and in produce safety, as they implement the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA).

USDA’s Office of the Chief Scientist (OCS) recently hosted a seminar for USDA scientists to hear from FDA scientists on the Total Diet Study (TDS), specifically its impacts, modernizations, and exposure assessments. FDA reciprocated by hosting USDA scientists who shared their research into pesticides in foods.

With coordination in science, education and outreach, the USDA and FDA partnership will effectively ensure the safety of the foods we consume and help ensure that we “do right and feed everyone.”

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Comments

Adam Coutu Worcester, MA
Jun 19, 2018

Stop lying to the people. The slaughterhouses that our government deems safe is a toxin dump into our earth, air, and body's. You may say foods are safe, but only on a small time scale. However, entire life times and generations of eating the food that is provided is a leading cause for cancer and disease.

And that's only animal products. Monoculture farming is obviously unsustainable. Crops are pumped with chemicals and toxins that our food literally uses to grow. Plants become increasingly less nutritious.

These are all issues I'm sure our government is aware of. Our egotistical, money hungry government will ignore all these issues. The way America eats needs to DRASTICALLY overhauled. Stop killing our planet. Stop lying with a smile. Strip away the politics. Be human.

Ashley Traughber
Sep 05, 2018

More and more people are starting to realize that the FDA and the CDC, are NOT for the citizens of the US but for the Big Corporations that want to throw them money to say a product is safe. Our food system is crap bc of things you have deemed safe. Take Monsanto for example: we were told roundup was safe enough to drink but it's really a deadly toxic chemical that gets sprayed on most of our agriculture. Roundup is one of the main causes of glutten allergies due to the process of spraying wheat down with roundup to dry out faster for better harvest times. It not only effects the food but the water systems as well. Lets not to forget to mention the flouride you've allowed in our water systems that has to be added by a person in a hazmat suit, that's bought from fertilizer companies. Oh and dont forget all the vaccines and medications you approve for use that are very harmful to our bodies. Its getting harder to trust anything the govt or it departments have to say!