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IFPA joins group calling for changes at FDA

International Fresh Produce Association logo.

April 28, 2022 Newark, De. and Washington, D.C. – On Monday, dozens of organizations representing consumers, industry leaders, and state and local regulators, including International Fresh Produce Association BB #:378962, Consumer Reports, Stop Foodborne Illness, Consumer Brands Association, and the Association of Food and Drug Officials called on the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to strengthen leadership and accountability in FDA’s food safety and nutrition program.

Their joint letter follows recent reports on serious issues within the FDA, including problematic organizational structure, governance, and performance.

The letter is addressed to FDA Commissioner Robert Califf and asks for a meeting to discuss the group’s urgent concerns. The coalition expressed support for increasing food-related funds, transparent accounting of FDA expenditures on the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), and to unify the FDA food program under a full-time leader with both expertise and authority.

“The structural, governance, and performance problems, including the lack of a single, full-time, fully empowered and expert leader affect all aspects of the FDA’s food program,” the leaders wrote in their letter, echoing the concerns from recent reports regarding lack of dedicated leadership for food under the current FDA structure.

The signatories express that by addressing these concerns, food related industries will better be able to plan more effectively and enhance food safety and nutrition programs.

“We can do more together if we’re collaborative and transparent. That’s part of what the letter is requesting,” said Jennifer McEntire, Chief Food Safety & Regulatory Officer at the International Fresh Produce Association. “The communication to get the work done is not just the agency’s responsibilities. It’s all of us working together to provide safe, nutritious food.”

The full text of the letter and a full list of signatories can be found here.

About the International Fresh Produce Association (IFPA)
The International Fresh Produce Association (IFPA)?is the largest and most diverse international association serving the entire fresh produce and floral supply chain and the only to seamlessly integrate world-facing advocacy and industry-facing support. We exist to bring the industry together to create a vibrant future for all. We grow our member’s prosperity by conducting advocacy; connecting people and ideas; and offering guidance that allows us all to?take action?with purpose and confidence.? While IFPA is built on the legacy of United Fresh and Produce Marketing Association, it is not just a combination. It is transformational. Recognizing the industry required an even more powerful and unified voice, the leaders of the former United Fresh and Produce Marketing Association chose not to merge, but rather to create an entirely new organization to supersede their organizations, effective January 1, 2022.

Contact: Siobhan May, +1 (302) 781-5855