There’s no question that when we think of government regulation and safety in our food sectors, the USDA and FDA are at the top of the list. So it makes sense that the leaders of those two organizations, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue and FDA Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb, would do what they could to improve coordination and collaboration in their tasks.
On Tuesday, Perdue and Gottlieb signed a formal agreement to that effect in the hopes of improving efficiency and effectiveness on produce safety and biotechnology activities, while providing clarity to manufacturers.
The agencies have worked closely over the years to oversee the nation’s food supply. The USDA oversees the safety of most meat, poultry, catfish and certain egg products while the FDA has authority over all other foods such as dairy, seafood, produce and packaged foods. The USDA and the FDA are partnering in many key areas, including the implementation of produce safety measures and biotechnology efforts.
On the biotech front, the agreement commits the USDA and the FDA to identify ways the agencies can better align and enhance their efforts to develop regulatory approaches to biotech, as each agency works to fulfill commitments outlined in the September 2016 National Strategy for Modernizing the Regulatory System for Biotechnology Products and the more recent Task Force on Agriculture and Rural Prosperity Report. These initiatives established a vision for increasing transparency, predictability and efficiency of the regulatory processes for biotechnology products.
You can read the formal agreement in its entirety here.