International Fresh Produce Association Looks to Strengthen the "F" in FDA; Jennifer McEntire Shares
WASHINGTON, DC & NEWARK, DE - The International Fresh Produce Association (IFPA) has been advocating for the food industry at the federal level. As the Reagan-Udall Foundation is expected to issue a report commissioned by the FDA to provide holistic recommendations to strengthen the foods program, IFPA has released its detailed agenda.
“The produce industry needs a strong FDA that provides strong, effective leadership for food,” said Chief Food Safety and Regulatory Officer, Jennifer McEntire. “For too long, food programs have been given a backseat to the FDA’s drug and medical device programs. We appreciate FDAs openness to stakeholder concerns and calls for change, and IFPA will continue to advocate for an FDA that prioritizes health and nutrition.”
According to a press release, this is a summary of IFPA’s advocacy for improvements at the FDA so far:
- April: McEntire is included in POLITICO’s exposé on FDA dysfunction and encouraged issuing a re-proposal to the agricultural water requirements in the Produce Safety rule
- Late April/May: IFPA joins a large coalition to send a letter to the FDA commissioner asking for an empowered deputy commissioner for foods
- May-present: IFPA begins meeting with leaders across the food sector from Consumer Reports, STOP foodborne illness, EWG, Consumer Brands, AFDO and later, Western Growers and AFFI
- June: McEntire along with a Consumer Brands representative, and CEO Cathy Burns separately, spoke with the FDA Commissioner on behalf of the food industry during a coalition call
- August: McEntire meets with House Energy and Commerce staff to follow up on a letter IFPA sent to the Commissioner
- September: McEntire serves as the only food industry representative to speak on the Reagan-Udall food safety panel
- October: IFPA submits written comments and also signed onto a coalition letter to inform Reagan-Udall report
- October: McEntire serves on webinar along with former Deputy Commissioner for Foods Dr. Stephen Ostroff and Steven Mandernach
- November: McEntire crafts Op-ed run in Agripulse titled “Has FDA embraced the food safety culture it touts?”
- December: McEntire serves with Brian Ronholm and Adam Tarr on webinar moderated by Helena Bottemiller Evich to discuss food safety in the 118th Congress
“Experts across the food industry have been adamant about the need to implement a leadership structure and team that can help the FDA achieve the goals laid out by FSMA,” said McEntire. “We hope that the FDA Commissioner acts on the consensus recommendations from stakeholders and prioritizes food programs. We look forward to the recommendations from the Reagan-Udall Foundation and will update our members on the next steps following the published report.”
Stay tuned for more updates from the association.