Washington- Today, the Natural Products Association (NPA) called the announcement of James Jones’ selection to serve as the first Deputy Commissioner for Human Foods troubling. Mr. Jones is expected to lead the Human Foods Program, including dietary supplements, in his new role. “For more than 30 years, Mr. Jones has held various positions in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) while Mr. Jones is a known commodity in Washington D.C., it is unclear how his experience will benefit the foods program, there seems to be a knowledge gap when it comes to foods,” said Daniel Fabricant, Ph.D., president and CEO of the NPA.
“At a time when the FDA foods program has a clear accountability gap with Congress, industry, and Americans, as demonstrated by the Reagan-Udall Report, in which Mr. Jones was a panelist, how will a lack of technical understanding for the industries FDA regulates fill that gap? FDA needs to lay out constructive plans to address these deficiencies sooner rather than later. While the reorganization is a significant undertaking, it is not going to have a positive outcome if the new commissioner for foods doesn’t engage immediately with groups like the Natural Products Association to understand the history and specific concerns.