• The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) work closely to regulate the nation’s food supply. USDA oversees the safety of meat, poultry, and certain egg products, while FDA has authority over all other foods such as dairy, seafood, produce and packaged foods. USDA and FDA partner in many key areas, including produce safety and biotechnology efforts.
  • On January 30, 2018, USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue and FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb announced a formal agreement aimed at making the oversight of food more efficient and effective by bolstering coordination between the two agencies. The formal agreement outlines efforts to increase interagency collaboration, to promote efficiency and effectiveness with respect to produce safety and biotechnology activities, and to provide clarity to manufacturers regarding the agencies’ joint efforts.
  • This agreement represents the agencies’ latest initiative to streamline regulatory responsibilities and use government resources more efficiently to protect public health. In particular, the agreement seeks to increase clarity and efficiency and potentially reduce the number of establishments subject to the dual regulatory requirements of the USDA and FDA.
  • For example, an establishment that produces both chicken noodle soup and vegetable soup is currently subject to regulation by both agencies. The agreement tasks FDA and USDA with identifying ways to streamline regulation and reduce inspection inefficiencies while achieving food safety standards for dual-jurisdiction facilities. The successful implementation of this initiative would certainly reduce regulatory burden and costs.