News in Brief

USDA and FDA sign agreement on oversight of food

By Staff Reporter

- Last updated on GMT

Scott Gottlieb (left) and Sonny Perdue (rght) sign agreement at the White House
Scott Gottlieb (left) and Sonny Perdue (rght) sign agreement at the White House
The US FDA and USDA are to look at ways to streamline regulatory responsibilities, reduce inspection inefficiencies and use government resources more efficiently.

One area is potentially reducing the number of establishments subject to the dual regulatory requirements of the USDA and the FDA.

For example, when a canned soup facility, produces chicken noodle and tomato soup, it is subject to regulation by both agencies.

The USDA oversees 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.

Scott Gottlieb, FDA Commissioner, said the agencies have identified areas to strengthen collaboration to make processes more efficient, predictable and potentially lower cost to industry.

“This agreement not only formalizes this ongoing coordination, but presents a great opportunity to expand those efforts through better integration and increased clarity to the agriculture and food processing sectors. Our coordination with these sectors plays an integral role in helping to keep our nation’s food supply safe and secure.”

The agreement also calls for the agencies to enhance cooperation on produce safety activities.

Sonny Perdue, US Agriculture Secretary, said: “Congress passed the Food Safety Modernization Act and assigned responsibilities to the USDA and the FDA. The USDA has the knowledge and expertise to support the FDA’s work related to farming.”

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