FDA Commissioner Nominated; CRN Notes Top 6 Priorities

Dr. Califf is a Cardiologist who teaches at the Duke University School of Medicine. He served briefly as FDA Commissioner at the end of Barack Obama’s second term, from February 2016 to January 2017.

Washington, D.C.—President Biden has nominated Robert M. Califf, M.D., for Commissioner of the FDA.

FDA hasn’t had a permanent chief since President Biden took office, reports the New York Times, and acting FDA Commissioner Dr. Janet Woodcock is nearing the end of the term that acting officials are allowed to serve.

Dr. Califf is a Cardiologist who teaches at the Duke University School of Medicine. He served briefly as FDA Commissioner at the end of Barack Obama’s second term, from February 2016 to January 2017, and before that, was Deputy Commissioner for medical products and tobacco.

The Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN) applauded the nomination. “CRN congratulates Dr. Robert M. Califf for being nominated to lead FDA as its next commissioner,” said Steve Mister, President and CEO. “We look forward to working with Dr. Califf to strengthen the dietary supplement industry and protect consumers by ensuring products are safe and meet regulatory requirements.”

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CRN pointed to six action items that would strengthen the dietary supplement and functional foods industry:

  1. Increase funding to the Office of Dietary Supplement Programs (ODSP) at FDA, recognizing this Office must keep pace with the rapidly growing industry it oversees
  2. Work with Congress to enact legislation to establish mandatory product listing for supplements
  3. Establish a legal pathway to market for hemp-derived cannabidiol (CBD) as a dietary supplement
  4. Issue final guidance on the labeling of probiotics
  5. Issue final guidance for new dietary ingredients, along with an official list of pre-DSHEA dietary ingredients that are “grandfathered” under the 1994 law
  6. Protect consumers and strengthen incentives for innovation with more proactive enforcement of the existing law for dietary supplements

Mister continued: “CRN has enjoyed a strong working relationship with FDA and looks forward to continuing this relationship under Dr. Califf’s leadership. Together, we will continue growing an innovative and safe marketplace for dietary supplements that protect consumers, while avoiding unwarranted regulatory burdens for the industry.”