The FDA needs to modernize, says Consumer Brands Association. In an opinion piece for Food Safety News, Sarah Gallo, vice president of product policy for the Consumer Brands Association, urged the FDA to “create a modernized regulatory system, paired with key structural and governance changes, to better provide for consumer safety and keep pace with rapidly evolving consumer preferences and growing opportunities to introduce innovative products to the marketplace.”
The CBA has outlined nine policies in support of this initiative:
- Commit to timely reviews. The CBA notes that consumer preferences change faster than the FDA’s current review timeline and encourages the use of new technology and methods to speed the review of industry submissions.
- Inspection modernization. The CBA would like the FDA to move from a one-size-fits-all approach to a risk-based approach to inspections, and to an integrated federal-state system of oversight.
- Recall modernization. The CBA advocates for harmonizing recall policies and practices, using data sharing technologies, and employing modern modes of communication about recalls.
- Labeling modernization. Among other things, the CBA calls for the FDA to update labeling policies to embrace the use of digital technology and clarify the definition of “healthy.”
- New FDA-industry collaborative models for guidance development. Following what was done in the pandemic, the CBA asks the FDA to collaborate with industry to share best practices and expedite production.
- Consumer transparency and traceability. The CBA would like the FDA to develop practical implementation strategies for the food traceability rule.
- Modernized approaches for chemicals management. The CBA is advocating for a transparent regulatory agenda for chemicals in packaging and products.
- Modernization to facilitate food packaging innovation and achieve sustainability commitments. The CBA would like the FDA to be a leader in helping companies meet state mandates for recycled content and packaging material bans, as well as providing updated sustainability guidance.
- IT infrastructure modernization. The CBA urges processes that make it easier for FDA to access data that will inform policy and decision-making.