Well, its more than a half a loaf.
Yesterday I had the great opportunity to speak to Food and Drug officials at their annual conference. In the audience were a smattering of “GET THE ‘F’ OUT OF THE FDA” t-shirts. The hundreds of t-shirts that I had sent to the conference were returned to me unopened – no one wanted to offend the Commissioner and the FDA’s top leadership. My guess is that if the t-shirts had been given out, there might have been a sea of light blue.
The talk with the great Brian Ronholm ranged over my 30 years litigating nearly every major – and many minor foodborne illness cases in the United States and around the world. Given the audience, and the return of the t-shirts, I was surprised when he asked me about my t-shirt campaign (see below) and my desire to restructure the FDA into a separate Food and Human Nutrition and Drugs and Medical Devices. I made my pitch that all aspects of food should be reorganized under a separate Commissioner with another separate Commissioner for drugs to a rousing round of applause. It is certainly clear that the rank and file – although not the leadership – sees that we would be better served by separating the functions.
Well, it seems that the House of Representatives are paying attention (perhaps it was the delivery of hundreds of t-shirts to House and Senate members over that last months?). Here is what House Appropriations just released directing a restructuring – skip to page 79.
Human Foods Program Restructuring.—The Committee directs FDA to unify the foods program under an expert, empowered Deputy Commissioner for Foods with full line authority over CFSAN, the food and feed-related activities of the Center for Veterinary Medicine (CVM), and all the food-related components of the Office of Regulatory Affairs, including inspection and compliance, food-related laboratories, import oversight, State partnerships, training, and information technology.
Here is the full document – http://tinyurl.com/3z8cdcv9
Gotta love the t-shirts.