The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has released a strategic plan that outlines the 2011-2015 goals and objectives of the National Antimicrobial Resistance Monitoring System (NARMS), which aims to protect “the health of Americans through safer food.” Calling the plan “a dynamic roadmap which outlines the program’s commitment to sustained food safety through monitoring and research,” FDA has requested comments by March 25, 2011.

Established in 1996 by FDA, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. Department of Agriculture in collaboration with state and local health departments, NARMS “monitors the susceptibility of enteric bacteria to antimicrobial agents of medical importance.” Its strategic goals are to (i) “develop, implement and optimize a shared database, with advanced data acquisition, analysis, and reporting tools”; (ii) “make sampling more representative and more applicable to trend analysis”; (iii) “strengthen collaborative research projects”; and “support international activities that promote food safety, especially those that promote mitigation of the spread of antimicrobial-resistant bacteria and resistance determinants.” See FDA Press Release; Federal Register, January 24, 2011.