In a letter dated July 14, 2016 from Deputy Commissioners Stephen Ostroff (Foods and Veterinary Medicine) and Howard R. Sklamberg (Global Regulatory Operations and Policy), FDA released its goals and objectives for the next 10 years.
According to the statement, the congressionally-mandated modernization of FDA’s regulatory framework for preventing foodborne illness is one of the most challenging initiatives in the agency’s history and will have significant public health and economic benefits.
In addition, the commissioners said FDA has many opportunities to promote and facilitate healthy food choices for the population and enhance the health of animals. “It is imperative that we continue driving toward a more proactive, preventive, risk-informed approach to food and feed safety, nutrition and animal health that makes excellent use of our scarce resources,” the statement said.
The commissions stated it is critical to address the following challenges:
- Persistent foodborne illness
- An unacceptably high prevalence of diet-related chronic disease leading to excessive health care costs
- Increasing globalization and complexity of the food and feed supply
- Rapid advances in science and technology that pose both challenges and opportunities for achieving our public health goals, and
- High expectations for all of our activities among the consuming public, the industry, Congress, and a wide range of other important stakeholders.
The letter also stated that FDA plans to modernize its food safety work by:
- Increasing the focus on obtaining compliance with preventive control standards rather than finding and responding to violations after an illness or outbreak has occurred
- Strengthening FDA technical expertise and capacity to support FDA and industry in implementing the new prevention standards
- Furthering federal, state, local and territorial partnerships, and investing in training and capacity to ensure efficient, high quality and consistent oversight nationwide, and
- Broadening interaction with foreign partners and increasing oversight of importers, who will have more responsibility for the safety of imported foods.
The agency says its success depends on working seamlessly across internal organizations; federal, state, local, tribal and territorial regulatory partners; and international borders—as well as engaging a wide range of consumer, industry, public health, and scientific stakeholders and partners.