Photo: ilovebutter (Flickr)
Earlier this year the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) published their updated strategic plan for the Foods and Veterinary Medicine Program. Included are seven goals for 2012-2016:
- Establish science‐based preventive control standards across the farm‐to‐table continuum
- Achieve high rates of compliance with preventive control standards domestically and internationally
- Strengthen scientific leadership, capacity, and partnership to support public health and animal health decision making
- Provide accurate and useful information so consumers can choose a healthier diet and reduce the risk of chronic disease and obesity
- Encourage food product reformulation and safe production of dietary supplements
- Improve detection of and response to foodborne outbreaks and contamination incidents
- Advance animal drug safety and effectiveness
The FDA document also outlines plans to reduce sodium and trans fat in the food supply and to promote prudent use of antibiotics for livestock.
Much of the response from food policy experts has focused on the plan’s lack of specificity and clear timetable for the implementation of new nutrition labeling.
Ben Cooper, contributing editor for just-food, states, “Industry and other stakeholders have been waiting for some time for an indication of what the FDA might do next on food labeling. However, the plan remains fairly scant on detail.”
In her Food Politics blog, professor of nutrition and sociology at New York University Marion Nestle questions the FDA objective to “Explore front‐of‐pack nutrition labeling opportunities.”
“Explore?” Nestle asks. “The FDA has already sponsored two Institute of Medicine reports on front-of-pack labeling. Does this mean the agency is ignoring them and intends further research?”
What are your thoughts on the new FDA strategic plan?