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Focus on Regulation

FDA Strategic Plan Emphasizes Food Safety Law Implementation

The Food and Drug Administration has released the final strategic plan for its Foods and Veterinary Medicine Program for 2012–2016, which will guide the agency’s food-related priorities for the foreseeable future.  The plan in large part reflects FDA’s efforts to implement the Food Safety Modernization Act and leaves little doubt that FSMA implementation is the agency’s dominant priority for food regulation.  Two of the agency’s seven program goals are devoted to preventive control regulations.  Other planned activities include:

  •          Updating the Nutrition Fact Panel, potentially giving greater prominence to calorie declarations
  •          Considering setting targets for sodium and added trans fat reduction
  •          Exploring opportunities for front-of-package labeling

The food additive, generally recognized as safe (GRAS), and plant biotech review processes are not included in the plan, indicating they will be treated as routine agency work and will likely receive relatively fewer resources.  Programs emphasized in the strategic plan are likely to receive more funding, focus, and scrutiny than the agency’s routine work.