The past few weeks have witnessed renewed interest in the potential establishment of a single federal food safety agency. In two recent Op-Ed articles published by Food Safety News, Dr. Richard Rayond (the former USDA Undersecretary for Food Safety) has weighed in with his thoughts on the merits of a single food safety agency as well as his thoughts on methods to boost federal food safety oversight.
In “Single Food Agency a Recipe for Singular Disaster?” published on January 16, Dr. Raymond comments on a potential merger of FDA and USDA-FSIS: “It is my sincere belief that a merger of the two food safety agencies would be an unmitigated disaster in the short term because the cultures are so very different. And unless megadollars flowed with the merger, nothing more could be accomplished than is currently done.”
In a follow-up article published on January 19 – “A Budget Neutral, Better Way to Boost Food Safety” – Dr. Raymond offers his suggestions on practical ways to improve food safety enforcement by the agencies given current federal budget constraints.
Both articles offer a lot of food for thought and are great reads for food safety professionals.