A Very Full Plate: FDA’s 5-Year Plan for Foods

October 3, 2011

By Ricardo Carvajal

FDA released an ambitious Draft Strategic Plan for 2012-2016 to guide the activities of its Foods and Veterinary Medicine ("FVM") Program (meaning the activities of CFSAN and CVM, as well as ORA’s food-related activities).  The Plan articulates priorities organized around the following eight goals:

  • “Improve effectiveness and efficiency across all levels of the FVM Programs” – among other things, FDA plans to address the thorny problem of developing public health metrics.
  • “Establish science-based preventive control standards across the farm-to-table continuum,” largely through regulations and guidance issued under the authorities granted under the FSMA.
  • “Achieve high rates of compliance with preventive control standards domestically and internationally” through inspections, enforcement, and increased collaboration with state officials.
  • “Strengthen scientific leadership, capacity, and partnership to support public health and animal health decision making,” with a focus on “mission-critical science capabilities.”
  • “Provide accurate and useful information so consumers can choose a healthier diet and reduce the risk of chronic disease and obesity” – menu/vending machine labeling and an update of the nutrition facts panel are on the agenda.
  • “Encourage food product reformulation and safe production of dietary supplements” – sodium and trans fat are targeted for reduction.  As for dietary supplements, FDA intends to enhance post-market surveillance and to finalize and implement the new dietary ingredient guidance.
    “Improve detection of and response to foodborne outbreaks and contamination incidents.”
  • “Advance animal drug safety and effectiveness,” with attention to encouraging the “judicious use of medically important antibiotics.”

Comments on the plan should be submitted by November 1, 2011.