This is an excerpt reprinted with permission from The Hagstrom Report, a news service providing original national and international agricultural news to its subscribers.
Scott Gottlieb, President Donald Trump’s nominee for Food and Drug Administration commissioner, said today he supports the Food Safety Modernization Act and is open to delaying the implementation of the new Nutrition Facts Label until it can be coordinated with the deadline for companies to disclose the presence of genetically modified ingredients in foods, Politico reported today.
Gottlieb made the statements at a confirmation hearing before the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee.
Gottlieb, a physician, focused on FDA’s role in the pharmaceutical industry in his opening statement.
But under questioning from Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Pat Roberts, R-Kan., who also sits on the HELP Committee, he said his mandate is “to make sure FSMA [the Food Safety Modernization Act] is implemented in the proper way,” Politico reported.
Under further questioning from Roberts, Gottlieb said he would be “delighted” to work on the issue of coordinating the deadlines for the two labeling changes.
The deadline for the Nutrition Facts Label is July 2018, but companies have asked to delay it until the GMO mandatory disclosure requirement goes into effect so that they would make labeling changes only once. The law Congress passed last year says USDA is supposed to finish the GMO disclosure requirement, which does not necessarily involve on-package labeling, by July 18, 2018, but with no Agriculture secretary in place, the Trump administration has taken no action to move that process along.
▪ Gottlieb’s opening statement to HELP Committee
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