• On July 13, Chair of the House Appropriations Committee Rosa DeLauro (D-CT-03) and Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) introduced the Food Safety Administration Act, which is legislation that would establish the Food Safety Administration, a single food safety agency that would incorporate FDA's food safety and veterinary medicine centers and the Office of Regulatory Affairs' food operations. The Food Safety Administration would be led by a Senate-confirmed food safety expert.
  • In a Fact Sheet about the bill, DeLauro and Durbin state that, because most FDA commissioners have been medical specialists, the food program "has second-class status within FDA and we have not had sufficient strategic leadership and management accountability for the programs that regulate our food supply." Further, DeLauro and Durbin state that "[i]n addition to bringing focused leadership and more accountability, a unified structure and full-time senior leader will strengthen oversight of the food supply and enhance the industry's ability to operate effectively."
  • DeLauro, Durbin, and other lawmakers have tried to establish a new food safety administration numerous times over the past 20 years. For instance, lawmakers have repeatedly introduced the Safe Food Act which is aimed at transferring and consolidating food safety authorities for inspections, enforcement, and labelling into a single food safety agency. In 2015, the White House's fiscal 2016 budget proposed consolidating FDA food inspections and enforcement functions and the USDA's FSIS into a single new food agency within HHS. Of note, DeLauro and Durbin's current legislation would not apply to the USDA and would only affect FDA.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.