The Changing Food Landscape and the FDA

Baltimore’s former health commissioner, Dr. Joshua Sharfstein, is making news as the new deputy director of the FDA, serving under the new commissioner, Dr. Margaret Hamburg. Hamburg and Sharfstein have pledged to reform the food safety system and encourage scientific exchange and better communication to the public.

In the New England Journal of Medicine, Hamburg and Sharfstein acknowledged the difficulty of decision-making at the FDA, often in the absence of complete information, and admitted that recent high profile contaminations (peanut butter, anyone?) have rightfully caused the public to question the agency.

This is certainly a daunting task, but Hamburg and Sharfstein seem ready for the challenge (see some background on them here).

Indeed, there are many aspects of the food system that advocates for public health, the environment, animal welfare and social justice have identified as areas in dire need of improvement. The FDA will have the authority to address some of these issues, but not all. Some recent articles have discussed complicating factors that may impact the safety of the nation’s food supply. Read More >