Dr. Susan Mayne, Director of FDA’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, spoke on Thursday to the DC section of the Institute of Food Technologists.  Responding to questions from the audience, Dr. Mayne was asked to comment on how the Trump administration’s emphasis on deregulation is likely to impact CFSAN’s work.  Speaking generally, Dr. Mayne indicated that there may be opportunities for minor adjustments or tweaks, but stated that she does not anticipate broad rollbacks of the work on which CFSAN has been focused in recent years, largely because the efforts are supported by key stakeholders and implementation is ongoing.  She offered a few examples to support her rationale, including the following:

  • FSMA Rules:  Dr. Mayne noted that FSMA had bipartisan support in Congress along with industry support.  Moreover, given that the agency has finalized seven FSMA rules and implementation is well underway, there may be instances in which specific challenges could be addressed through narrow modifications but broader changes are not anticipated.  As an example of challenges where tweaks may be a possibility, she stated that the agricultural water standards pose unique considerations and could be an area of flexibility.
  • Menu Labeling:  Similar to FSMA, the menu labeling requirements enacted via § 4205 of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) were supported by the restaurant industry and many restaurant chains have already undertaken implementation.  Further, absent national standards, it is foreseeable that states and municipalities could set their own menu labeling requirements – potentially resulting in a state and local patchwork that creates its own compliance challenges.  Although repealing ACA has been the topic of much discussion, she noted that menu labeling is not funded as part of the same budget process and new legislation would be required to repeal it.
  • Nutrition Facts:  Changes to the nutrition facts labels went through multi-year notice and comment and are already being implemented.  Dr. Mayne stated that the agency continues to work through how changes to the nutrition facts labels impact nutrient content and health claims, an issue that she indicated they anticipated.

Dr. Mayne did not comment on the President’s executive order requiring that two regulations be eliminated for every new regulation issued or related cost offset provisions.