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FDA Evaluates Program to Assess the Safety of Chemicals in Foods, Releases First Report

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released the findings from its first review of a three-part strategic assessment of its food and feed programs. The first review addressed how the agency evaluates the safety of chemicals in foods.

The report documents the results of FDA's evaluation of how it analyzes the harmful effects of chemicals in foods, as well as in cosmetics, dietary supplements, animal food, and veterinary drugs. The initiative, which began in 2012, focused FDA's assessment on scientific capacity and resource management within the Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (CFSAN) and the Center for Veterinary Medicine (CVM). It included interviews with current and former FDA employees, interviews with senior managers from relevant U.S. government agencies, and five listening sessions conducted with CFSAN stakeholders.

CFSAN and CVM tasked working groups to review the recommendations. The most significant report outcomes are the establishment of a process to ensure CFSAN's offices and CFSAN and CVM use consistent methodologies for assessing safety and risk and the identification of the need to update FDA's Toxicological Principles for the Safety Assessment of Food Ingredients (a.k.a. the Redbook) to reflect current science.

The two remaining parts of the cross-center initiative will focus on nutritional and microbiological laboratory programs.

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