Washington DC: The head of the Food and Drug Administration has asked for a review of the agency’s food and tobacco programs following months of criticism over their handling of the baby formula shortage and e-cigarette reviews.
Tuesday’s announcement comes as FDA Commissioner Robert Califf attempts to push past several controversies that have dominated his second stint running the agency, including the delayed response to contamination problems at the country’s largest infant formula plant.
“Fundamental questions about the structure, function, funding, and leadership need to be addressed” in the agency’s food program, Califf said in a statement. The agency’s tobacco center, which regulates traditional cigarettes and vaping products, is facing challenges navigating policy and enforcement issues from “an increasing number of novel products that could potentially have significant consequences for public health,” he said.
Califf said the Reagan-Udall Foundation — a non-governmental research group created by Congress to support FDA’s work — would convene experts to deliver evaluations within 60 business days of both the food and tobacco operations.