July 11, 2006
Despite a shift in resources, FDAs Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (CFSAN) maintains its commitment to protecting the public health. The agencys 2006 Program Priorities outlines specific objectives for fiscal year Oct. 1, 2005, through Sept. 30, 2006. The goal is to complete at least 90% of these by the end of September.
This work plan was developed in recognition of a diminished budget, including projected reductions and redeployment of resources to achieve funding for priorities, including pandemic flu, says Robert E. Brackett, Ph.D., director, CSFAN, in his introductory letter. In FY 2006, the Agency and CFSAN have been presented with unique challenges, and we will not be able to take on the same large number of objectives we have identified in previous years. To meet these challenges, we will refocus our resources to areas where we can do the most good to protect the public health.
The document includes 62 A-list objectives in five categories: Ensuring Food Defense; Ensuring Food Safety; Improving Nutrition; Ensuring Dietary Supplement and Cosmetic Safety and Management Services; and Priority Ongoing Activities.
Food Safety and Food Defense remain a central theme for FDA and our work plan reflects this continued focus and commitment to protect the public health, says Brackett. Our focus is on the question: Where do we do the most good for consumers and the overall public health?
New this year, asterisks serve to highlight 10 critically important research activities, according to Brackett. FDA is a science-led organization and the research CFSAN conducts provides the cornerstone of good regulatory decisions and enforcement activities. The research activities are as follows:
Complete construction and associated tasks needed to support certification of a BSL3/ABLS3 laboratory.
Establish repository of curated E. coli O157:H7 strains and supporting database as reference collection for Department of Homeland Security.
Develop DNA micro-array, genome optical mapping, and bioinformatics analysis for forensic identification of E. coli O157:H7.
Evaluate mass-spectrometric-based methods, developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), for their applicability to the detection and confirmation of botulinum neurotoxin in foods.
Complete risk assessment to determine potential of chronic wasting disease (CWD) in infected cervids as a human health risk.
Complete draft Listeria monocytogenes and smoked finfish risk assessment and issue for public comment.
Publish the results of studies (in Granada and Hawaii) on the formation of scombrotoxin in large tuna.
Develop and initiate a national study on the levels of viral and bacterial pathogens and indicators in U.S. oysters at retail.
Collect consumer data on current infant feeding practices, in conjunction with CDC, FDAs Office of Womens Health, the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA).
Complete consumer studies research and economic data to help develop principles for use of the word net and other terms in relation to carbohydrate content.
Develop an improved bacteriological testing method for Enterobactersakazakii.
Science and sound regulation are inseparable at FDA and research is the foundation for daily decisions on a wide range of CFSAN-regulated products that affect public health, Brackett says. I believe that it is important to highlight the importance of this core activity.
To view the complete document, log on to www.cfsan.fda.gov/~dms/cfsan506.html#toc.
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