Potential new FDA Commissioner gets an industry nod

The Biden administration is considering nominating Robert M. Califf, former commissioner of the FDA who served between February 2016 and January 2017 under the Obama administration, to once again served as the agency’s chief.

According to a report by the Washington Post, the Biden administration is considering nominating Robert M. Califf, former commissioner of the FDA who served between February 2016 and January 2017 under the Obama administration, to once again served as the agency’s chief. The current administration has until mid-November to either nominate the acting commissioner Jane Woodcock, or pick someone else.

While the nomination has not been announced officially, industry stakeholders are already expressing their support for Califf’s nomination. “We look forward to working with Dr. Califf to strengthen the dietary supplement industry and protect consumers by ensuring products are safe and meet regulatory requirements,” said Steve Mister, president and CEO of the Council for Responsible Nutrition, in a prepared statement. “CRN has enjoyed a strong working relationship with FDA and looks forward to continuing this relationship under Dr. Califf’s leadership. Together, we will continue growing an innovative and safe marketplace for dietary supplements that protect consumers, while avoiding unwarranted regulatory burdens for the industry.”

CRN has also recommended six action items the new commissioner should prioritize to strengthen the dietary supplement and functional foods industry:

  • Increase funding to the Office of Dietary Supplement Programs (ODSP) at FDA, recognizing this Office must keep pace with the rapidly growing industry it oversees
  • Work with Congress to enact legislation to establish mandatory product listing for supplements
  • Establish a legal pathway to market for hemp-derived cannabidiol (CBD) as a dietary supplement
  • Issue final guidance on the labeling of probiotics
  • Issue final guidance for new dietary ingredients, along with an official list of pre-DSHEA dietary ingredients that are “grandfathered” under the 1994 law
  • Protect consumers and strengthen incentives for innovation with more proactive enforcement of the existing law for dietary supplements