According to multiple news outlets, the U.S. Senate voted on Dec. 12 to confirm Stephen Hahn, M.D., most recently chief medical executive of the MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, as commissioner of the FDA. Dairy organizations were quick to react to the news.
“We congratulate Dr. Stephen Hahn for his confirmation today,” said Matt Herrick, senior vice president, executive & strategic communications for the Washington, D.C.-based International Dairy Foods Association, in a written statement. “The dairy industry is hopeful that the FDA under Dr. Hahn engages in robust communication with food industry leaders to advance our common goals of food safety, transparent food labeling and public health. We are hopeful that the FDA under Dr. Hahn’s tenure is known for tackling outdated federal food standards of identity standards that currently stand in the way of using new technologies and ingredients to meet consumer demand for healthful foods and beverages.”
The National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF), Arlington, Va., also issued a statement congratulating Hahn.
“Dr. Hahn will provide strong leadership and direction to an agency that, understandably, has been reticent to resolve important issues in the absence of a full-fledged leader, the organization said. “Dr Hahn showed in his confirmation hearing that he understands the public-health need to address the issue of mislabeled plant-based products inappropriately marketed using dairy terms.
“As this problem grows more acute, consumer deception about nutritional content increases, adding urgency to the need for the FDA to enforce its own rules,” NMPF continued. “Dr. Hahn has voiced his support for ‘clear, transparent, and understandable labeling for the American people,’ and we urge him to act quickly on this issue at FDA, as he pledged during his confirmation hearing.”