David Acheson, who was recently appointed the FDA’s assistant commissioner for food protection, discussed the future of food safety.
He states that increasing the number of inspections will not be a priority, but instead the FDA will focus on prevention of contamination. Acheson also called the FDA a “reactive agency” and says that’s a job the FDA must continue to do. But he also agrees that approach needs change. Prevention needs to be a focus and that’s where he’s like to take the agency.
Acheson seemed lukewarm on wanting the mandatory recall ability. His take on the formation of a single federal food safety agency was that it would be “more likely to create a bigger hole in food safety” in the short term.
Acheson defended the dedication of the FDA staff, and did not comment on the criticisms of the agency.