Industry Associations React to FDA Commissioner Nomination

Washington, D.C.—Several industry associations have reacted to the nomination of Robert M. Califf, M.D., for commissioner of FDA.

As WholeFoods has previously reported, 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. If confirmed, he will be the first permanent chief since President Biden took office.

Daniel Fabricant, Ph.D., CEO and President of the Natural Products Association (NPA), commented in a press release: “NPA welcomes the return of a Senate confirmed commissioner to lead the Food and Drug Administration. If confirmed, Dr. Califf will be responsible for leading the Agency during one of the most challenging moments in history. We look forward to hearing Dr. Califf’s views on enforcing DSHEA, regulating the rapidly expanding CBD industry, and addressing the issue of adulterated ingredients through the NDI process.”

Scott Melville, President and CEO of the Consumer Healthcare Products Association (CHPA), added: “CHPA applauds President Biden’s choice for the next permanent FDA Commissioner. Having previously served at the helm of FDA, Dr. Califf is an excellent choice to lead the Agency at such an important time for public health. In addition, his experience and insights on digital health and technology will be critical for helping to shape the future of FDA and the growth of consumer self-care.

“Once confirmed, we look forward to continuing to work with the new commissioner on shared priorities to strengthen the safety and accessibility of self-care options. Our mutual focus includes important regulatory modernization efforts like OTC Monograph reform implementation, modernization of the regulatory framework for dietary supplements, and expansion of conditions for safe use of nonprescription medicines to enable innovations, including Rx-to-OTC switch, both for drugs and for medical devices.

“OTC medicines, dietary supplements, and consumer medical devices are accessible and affordable healthcare options. Our industry looks forward to working with Dr. Califf and the FDA staff to further promote public health by increasing access to safe, effective, and beneficial consumer healthcare products.”

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The Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN) also released a statement, as previously reported on by WholeFoods. Steve Mister, President and CEO, commented: “CRN congratulates Dr. Robert M. Califf for being nominated to lead FDA as its next commissioner. 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.”

CRN also released a list of six action items that would strengthen the industry, including increased funding to the Office of Dietary Supplement Programs, a path to market for cannabidiol (CBD), and more. The full list is visible here.