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essential. In essence, the committee found that the time has come to modernize the nation’s food safety system so it becomes a truly integrated national program.

In addition, although most of the recommendations offered are directed to the FDA, it is imperative to recognize that the FDA cannot guarantee food safety on its own, given the many other private and public parties involved in the nation’s food supply chain. Hence, some of the recommendations also assume the responsibility of others, including food producers and distributors and consumers. Although the committee’s deliberations were focused on improving the FDA’s functions and operations, the success of its food safety enterprise cannot be realized without the involvement of other responsible parties, and the report refers to them when appropriate.

On behalf of the committee, I would like to express my great appreciation to the staff at the FDA’s Office of Foods (formerly the Office of Food Protection) for the substantial time and effort they put into supporting our work. They were available to clarify the committee’s task and to educate its members about the FDA’s operations, challenges, and aspirations. In particular, this study could not have been conducted without the assistance of Dr. David Acheson, Ms. Kari Barret, and Dr. Chad Nelson, who tirelessly assisted the committee with answering numerous questions and requests for information, meetings, and conference calls. I would like to thank Michael Taylor, who served as an unpaid project consultant until June 2009, prior to his appointment as senior advisor to the FDA commissioner. On behalf of the committee, I sincerely thank the participants and speakers who contributed to the two workshops held to inform this study (see Appendix A) for addressing topics critical to the completion of the committee’s work. Their presentations served as essential references and resources for the committee.

I would also like to gratefully acknowledge the time, effort, and skill that committee members invested in this process, with a spirit of continuous improvement and with the ultimate goal of assisting the FDA in accomplishing its food safety mission. Their diverse backgrounds and experience ensured that all aspects of this challenging topic were addressed and that all deliberations were carried out with respect and empathy. Finally, I thank the project staff and support staff of the National Academies for their tireless dedication to the production of this report.


Robert B. Wallace, Chair

Committee on the Review of the Food and Drug Administration’s Role in Ensuring Safe Food



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