USDA, FDA agree to streamline food oversight

The USDA and FDA have signed a formal agreement intended to streamline food oversight by having the two agencies collaborate.

The agencies will partner to implement produce safety measures as well as biotechnology.

The FDA oversees the safety of produce, dairy, seafood and packaged foods, while the USDA monitors meat, poultry, catfish and certain egg products. A third agency, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, tracks imported goods.

According to an FDA news release, the agreement “aims to increase clarity, efficiency, and potentially reduce the number of establishments subject to the dual regulatory requirements of the USDA and the FDA.”

“(USDA) Secretary (Sonny) Perdue and I share a deep commitment to further strengthening our nation’s food safety system in the most effective and transparent way,” FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said in the release. “Over the last several months, the Secretary and I have worked closely and identified several areas where we can strengthen our collaboration to make our processes more efficient, predictable, and potentially lower cost to industry; while also strengthening our efforts to ensure food safety.” 

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