• The Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), enacted in January 2011, shifted the FDA’s focus from responding to illnesses to preventing food contamination. A new report by the U.S. Government Accountability Office, released on March 5, 2018, examines FDA’s actions on food safety since FSMA became effective.
  • The GAO report, titled “FDA Can Build on Existing Efforts to Measure Progress and Implement Key Activities,” notes that since the enactment of FSMA, the FDA has conducted numerous food safety- and nutrition-related activities, including publishing 33 proposed or key final regulations, and 111 draft or final key guidance documents with a focus on food safety.
  • In the report, the GAO calls upon the FDA to implement three recommendations:
    • Direct the Food and Veterinary Medicine (FVM) program staff to uniformly document the basis for their decisions on issuing either regulations or guidance related to food safety and nutrition, such as using concept papers or guidance initiation sheets.
    • Develop FVM program performance measures with associated targets and timeframes for all eight of FDA’s food safety and nutrition-related objectives.
    • Complete an implementation plan including specific actions, priorities and milestones for the FVM program’s strategic plan.
  • The Report notes that the Agency agrees with GAO’s recommendations and has identified actions to implement them.