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Rep. Barragán Statement on Release of FDA Food Program Review

In Response to Infant Formula Shortage, Regan-Udall Foundation Expert Panel Recommends Changes to Bolster Food Safety and Restore Public Confidence

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                     

6 December 2022

Contact: Kevin McGuire, 202-538-2386 (mobile)

Washington D.C. – Representative Nanette Diaz Barragán (CA-44) issued the following statement on the report released today from the Regan-Udall Foundation that evaluates the operations of the Food and Drug Administration’s human foods program.

“The infant formula crisis highlighted the urgent need for the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to reform its food programs. Months after the worst point in the crisis, many families and their babies are still reporting difficulty finding formula,” said Congresswoman Barragán. “The Reagan-Udall Foundation’s review highlights the need for FDA Commissioner Califf to prioritize reorganizing the FDA’s food programs and ensure they succeed in the critical mission to protect, promote, and advance public health. This reorganization must include the appointment of an empowered Deputy Commissioner for Foods—with authority over the Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (CFSAN), Center for Veterinary Medicine (CVM), and the Office of Regulatory Affairs (ORA) food component.”

“The safety of our food matters. Families should feel confident in the products they buy for their loved ones. Commissioner Califf has a responsibility to restore the public’s confidence by strengthening all aspects of the food program. The American people deserve nothing less than an FDA that truly prioritizes food safety and protects their health.”

On September 8, 2022, in response to the infant food shortage that led to a crisis for families across the country, the Regan-Udall Foundation was charged with conducting an independent review of the FDA’s foods program and to develop recommendations to the FDA on how the agency can better carry out their regulatory responsibilities, strengthen its relationships with state and local governments, and secure the nation’s food supply for the future.

Congresswoman Barragán has been a consistent advocate for making the FDA’s food safety efforts more robust, timely, and effective to keep the American people healthy and safe. In May, she was among the first lawmakers to sound the alarm that a lack of leadership over the FDA food program was slowing the FDA’s response to the shortage of infant formula. She has called for the immediate appointment an empowered Deputy Commissioner for Foods at the FDA since the agency has not had a singular food safety expert overseeing the FDA food program since 2018. Barragán has also cosponsored multiple bills to improve the FDA’s food safety efforts.


Nanette Diaz Barragán is proud to represent California’s 44th Congressional District, which includes the communities of Carson, Compton, Florence-Firestone, Lynwood, North Long Beach, Rancho Dominguez, San Pedro, South Gate, Walnut Park, Watts, Willowbrook and Wilmington. She serves as chairwoman of the House Homeland Security Committee’s Subcommittee on Border Security, and on the House Energy and Commerce Health, Energy, and Environment & Climate Change Subcommittees.