The Department of Health and Human Services has named Ned Sharpless, director of the National Cancer Institute, as acting commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration.
The HHS confirmed the decision on Twitter March 12.
FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb recently announced he was resigning in March to spend more time with family. He was the head of FDA for two years.
“I’m delighted by the announcement from (HHS Secretary Alex Azar) that (Sharpless) will serve as acting commissioner of #FDA,” Gottlieb tweeted. “Ned is a friend to FDA, a great public health champion, a dedicated physician, and will be warmly welcomed into his new role. FDA will benefit greatly from his leadership.”
FDA oversees fresh produce food safety programs, including the Food Safety Modernization Act.
Members of the produce industry, who have been working with the FDA on issues following E. coli outbreaks linked to leafy greens, have said they’re confident the change in leadership will not affect those efforts.