Michael Taylor: In the spirit of collaboration

02/16/2012 01:20:00 PM
Tom Karst

The FDA trade press office forwarded me this speech by Michael Taylor at the Global Food Safety Conference in Orlando. I am posting the speech as received.


"Food Safety Collaboration in a Global Food System"

Remarks at the Global Food Safety Conference

Orlando, FL

February 16, 2012

Michael R. Taylor

Deputy Commissioner for Foods

U.S. Food and Drug Administration

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Welcome

Good morning.

First, let me thank the conference organizers for inviting me to speak here today. I’m pleased to be able to continue the dialogue that my colleagues and I had with GFSI in London last year, and in other settings since then with GFSI’s executive board and members.

GFSI and Industry Leadership

The Global Food Safety Initiative is a critically important leader on food safety. For over a decade, GFSI has been advancing food safety by acting on one key idea, which is that the fundamental basis for food safety in today’s global food system is active food safety and supply chain management by the food industry.

I’m going to update you on what the government is doing to improve food safety – and public confidence in food safety – through implementation of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). But it all starts with what the food industry does every day in ensuring that modern food safety procedures are applied in their own facilities and in those of their suppliers to prevent food safety problems.

FSMA recognizes the primary responsibility and capacity of the food industry to make food safe. It also spells out the essential and complementary role of government. FSMA directs FDA to build a new, modern food safety system that includes a level playing field of standards all must follow for preventing food safety problems and a multi-faceted tool kit for gaining high rates of compliance with those standards.

That’s how we’ll make food safer. And that’s how we’ll build public confidence in the safety of the food supply: modern standards and documented assurances that those standards are being met.

Collaboration as a Key to Success

Another key theme of the Food Safety Modernization Act is collaboration. FSMA contains some 50 specific directives for FDA to collaborate with other federal and state agencies and foreign governments in the design and implementation of the new food safety system. It also calls for collaboration with the food industry in getting the standards right and providing assurances that the standards are being met.


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