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Foodies Aren’t Sold On FDA’s Updated Strategic Plan

What upcoming changes may you see in how the government regulates the food industry?

hand holding margarine container with nutritional label shown

Photo: ilovebutter (Flickr)

Modifications to nutrition labels are among the priorities identified by the FDA.

Goal Oriented

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:

  1. Establish science‐based preventive control standards across the farm‐to‐table continuum
  2. Achieve high rates of compliance with preventive control standards domestically and internationally
  3. Strengthen scientific leadership, capacity, and partnership to support public health and animal health decision making
  4. Provide accurate and useful information so consumers can choose a healthier diet and reduce the risk of chronic disease and obesity
  5. Encourage food product reformulation and safe production of dietary supplements
  6. Improve detection of and response to foodborne outbreaks and contamination incidents
  7. 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.

Foodies Respond

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?

Read More:

  • FDA Foods and Veterinary Medicine Programs Strategic Plan 2012 – 2016 (FDA)
  • Focus: FDA Restates Intentions On Nutritional Food Labeling (just-food)
  • FDA Releases Strategic Plan For 2012 – 2016 (Food Politics)
Amanda Solliday

Amanda Solliday is a reporter for WFIU/WTIU News and a news anchor on WFIU’s Morning Edition. She has won awards for radio news reporting from Public Radio News Directors Incorporated (PRDNI) and the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ). You can follow her on Twitter @AjSolliday

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  • Sarah R.

    The FDA’s strategic plan is sad and lacking. “Promote prudent use of antibiotics for livestock…” If animals weren’t jam packed into over-crowded, unhealthy, stressful feeding operations being forced to eat a non-native diet just for profit; they wouldn’t require antibiotics. This is the reason behind so many antibiotic-resistant diseases. Food labeling is a joke. Corporations have been hiding behind terms like “natural flavors” and “artificial flavors” for years by stating it’s a part of their proprietary formulas. Really? We all know the meat and dairy lobbyists, amongst others, have the FDA in their back pockets. So, who are they really looking out for?

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