Seven months after saying he would put more emphasis on food safety, FDA commissioner Robert Califf announced the appointment of James Jones as the agency’s first deputy commissioner for human foods on Wednesday. Jones, a former EPA pesticide regulator, was a member of a task force calling for unified leadership on food safety duties that have been scattered among FDA offices.
After a baby formula crisis and a scathing critique of the FDA's disjointed structure, Commissioner Robert Califf said on Tuesday he would reorganize the agency to put food safety offices under the control of a powerful deputy commissioner. Consumer groups generally applauded Califf's plan as a step forward, although some critics called for more sweeping reforms, such as creation of a separate agency for food safety.
The Biden administration should re-structure the FDA to give more prominence to federal regulation of the food supply with steps that could include appointing a deputy commissioner for food or even splitting the FDA into two entities, one dealing with drugs and the other overseeing food, said a panel of experts on Tuesday. "The current organizational structure lacks a clear leader and decision-maker," said the panel's report.