The International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA) said it named Joseph Scimeca, Ph.D., senior vice president, regulatory and scientific affairs. Scimeca comes to IDFA after serving 16 years with Cargill Inc., most recently as the company’s vice president of global regulatory and scientific affairs. He has a 33-year career in the global food, beverage and dairy industries, holding leadership positions with Kraft Foods Inc., The Pillsbury Co. and General Mills.

A food safety expert and toxicologist by training, Scimeca is a member of the International Union of Food Science and Technology, the Society of Toxicology, the Association of Food & Drug Officials and the Institute of Food Technologists, Washington, D.C.-based IDFA said. He sits on several boards and committees across the food and beverage industries and has authored nearly 40 peer-reviewed scientific papers, monographs and book chapters.

IDFA’s Regulatory Affairs team provides guidance and consultation to IDFA members in the areas of food safety, food defense, federal standards of identity, labeling, nutrition policy, sustainability and environmental and worker safety. In this new role, Scimeca succeeds Cary Frye, IDFA’s current senior vice president of regulatory affairs, who will retire in June after a 35-year career, IDFA said.

“Joe brings a tremendous level of experience with scientific and regulatory standards that is needed today to help the U.S. dairy industry continue to innovate to meet growing consumer demands in the areas of nutrition, food safety, health and wellness, and sustainability,” said Michael Dykes, D.V.M., president and CEO of IDFA. “Joe has proven himself time and again to be a capable, strategic leader who understands how to inspire teams and deliver results. I am confident that with Joe’s leadership on regulatory issues, IDFA is better positioned than ever to make a difference for our members.”

IDFA’s Regulatory Affairs team oversees the association’s engagement with the FDA, USDA, the Environmental Protection Agency and globally with the UN agencies and the Codex Alimentarius. IDFA experts in regulatory affairs are called to testify before the U.S. Congress, give verbal comments and testimony to federal agencies, and work collaboratively with regulators at the state, federal and international levels to help shape regulatory policies that impact how dairy foods and beverages are produced and processed in the United States and marketed throughout the world, IDFA noted. 

“I am tremendously excited about the opportunity to join the IDFA team and to provide strategic regulatory and scientific affairs leadership for a rapidly evolving and technologically advancing dairy industry,” said Scimeca.

Under Scimeca’s leadership, IDFA will continually advocate for practical and modern regulations that protect consumers while allowing innovation and growth in the dairy industry, IDFA said. Scimeca began his role with IDFA on March 2, to allow time to overlap with Frye before her retirement.