FDA secures approval for Human Foods Program, unifies food safety & policy oversight

By Deniz Ataman

- Last updated on GMT

Source: Getty/LiudmylaSupynska
Source: Getty/LiudmylaSupynska

Related tags Fda Human Foods Program

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) landed approval to launch its long-awaited Human Foods Program, which unifies its food safety and policy oversight into one organization, marking the agency's most significant restructuring in recent history.

The Human Foods Program (HFP) is targeted for launch Oct. 1 after a year and a half of deliberation. The program will streamline regulation for human food supply, fostering a more efficient and nimble approach to ensuring food safety and promoting public health.

“This is a distinctive moment for the FDA. I am very pleased to see that after a year and a half of arduous work and effort put into this transformative vision for the FDA Human Foods Program and the architecture of the agency, we are a step closer to seeing the largest reorganization of the agency in recent history come to life this fall,” said FDA Commissioner Robert Califf in a statement​. “This reorganization has been a major undertaking for the FDA, and I am proud of what we will be able to accomplish more efficiently and collaboratively to better meet our public health mandate.”

A unified HFP will support the agency’s initiatives in the Food Safety Modernization Act, improve nutrition awareness, enhance local, state and international partnerships and better position FDA to “uphold the safety of the nation’s food supply, and respond to food-related emergencies,” most notably the 2022 infant formula shortages, according to the agency.

The announcement comes after FDA requested $7.2 billion for FY 2025, an increase of $341 million from FY 2024, during the Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration subcommittee budget hearing in April​, which would go towards uniting HFP and investing in IT infrastructure and data processes.

Uniting key departments and functions under one program

The reorganization also will consolidate the functions of the Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, the Office of Food Policy and Response and the Office of Regulatory Affairs (ORA) under one program.

As part of the restructuring, FDA is changing the name of the ORA to the Office of Inspections and Investigations (OII)  to eliminate duplications and streamline inspection processes, according to the agency.

The name change will “better convey the organization’s role as the frontline of the FDA, which provides real time insights and science-based evidence necessary to ensure the safety and quality of products Americans depend on,” the agency stated.

Additionally, FDA said it intends to implement a “seamless transition to the new structure” for the centers and offices impacted by the reorganization.

“Meeting our labor obligations remains a priority for the agency and as such, the agency will continue formal union negotiations and finalize agreements prior to implementation,” the agency stated.




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