[Federal Register: June 5, 2003 (Volume 68, Number 108)]
[Page 33727-33728]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Food and Drug Administration

[Docket No. 98N-0359]

Program Priorities in the Center for Food Safety and Applied 
Nutrition; Request for Comments

AGENCY: Food and Drug Administration, HHS.

ACTION: Notice; request for comments.


SUMMARY: The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is requesting comments 
concerning the establishment of program priorities in the Center for 
Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (CFSAN) for fiscal year (FY) 2004. As 
part of its annual planning, budgeting, and resource allocation 
process, CFSAN is reviewing its programs to set priorities and 
establish work product expectations. This notice is being published to 
give the public an opportunity to provide input into the priority-
setting process.

DATES: Submit written or electronic comments by August 4, 2003.

ADDRESSES: Submit written comments concerning this document to the 
Dockets Management Branch (HFA-305), Food and Drug Administration, 5630 
Fishers Lane, rm. 1061, Rockville, MD 20852. Submit electronic comments 
to http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/leaving.cgi?from=leavingFR.html&log=linklog&to=http://www.fda.gov/dockets/ecomments.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Donald J. Carrington, Center for Food 
Safety and Applied Nutrition (HFS-666), Food and Drug Administration, 
5100 Paint Branch Pkwy., College Park, MD 20740, 301-436-1697, or e-
mail: Dcarring@cfsan.fda.gov.

I. Background

    On March 10, 2003, CFSAN released a document entitled ``2003 CFSAN 
Program Priorities.'' The document, a copy of which is available on 
CFSAN's Web site (http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/leaving.cgi?from=leavingFR.html&log=linklog&to=www.cfsan.fda.gov), constitutes the center's priority 
work plan for FY 2003, i.e., October 1, 2002, through September 30, 
2003. (Copies also are available from the contact person listed in the 
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section.) The 2003 work plan is based 
on input we received from our stakeholders as well as input generated 
internally. Throughout the priority-setting process, we focus on one 
central question: ``Where do we do the most good for consumers?''
    The FY 2003 work plan focuses heavily on ensuring the security of 
our country's food supply as a primary goal. With the enactment in June 
2002 of the Public Health Security and Bioterrorism Preparedness and 
Response Act (Public Law 107-188), much of our effort during the 
current fiscal year will focus on issuing the necessary regulations to 
implement this statute. We will also continue to enhance our level of 
emergency preparedness, particularly our laboratory preparedness.
    The FY 2003 work plan continues to place a high priority on food 
safety, food additives, and dietary supplements, and also highlights 
our desire to revitalize our nutrition program. In December 2002, FDA 
announced a major initiative to enhance ``Consumer Health Information 
for Better Nutrition.'' Accordingly, this year's plan includes the 
steps needed to implement that initiative, including increased 
enforcement against unsubstantiated claims on food and dietary 
supplement products.
    Outside of these priorities, the FY 2003 work plan identifies eight 
other program areas and cross-cutting areas that need emphasis: (1) 
Cosmetics; (2) enhancing the science base; (3) international 
activities; (4) food biotechnology; (5) enhancing internal processes; 
(6) focused economic-based regulations; (7) equal employment 
opportunity/diversity initiatives; and (8) management initiatives.
    The FY 2003 work plan contains two lists of activities--the ``A-
list'' and the ``B-list.'' Our goal is to fully complete at least 90 
percent of the 145 ``A-list'' activities by the end of the fiscal year, 
September 30, 2003. Activities on the ``B-list'' are those we plan to 
make progress on, but may not complete, before the end of the fiscal 
    CFSAN intends to issue a mid-year progress report on what program 
priority activities already have been completed to date in FY 2003 as 
well as any adjustments in the work plan (i.e., additions or deletions) 
for the balance of the fiscal year.
    CFSAN has responsibility for many important ongoing activities that 
are not identified in the work plan. For example, the center's base 
programs in data collection, research, and enforcement are important 
and ongoing. Rather, the work plan addresses primarily those 
initiatives representing something new or different that we need to 
address in 2003 as well as priority initiatives that are being 
continued from the 2002 work plan. In addition, the work plan does not 
address the myriad of unanticipated issues that often require a 
substantial investment of CFSAN resources (e.g., response to outbreaks 
of foodborne illness).

II. 2004 CFSAN Program Priorities

    FDA is requesting comments concerning the establishment of program 
priorities in CFSAN for FY 2004, and the input will be used to develop 
CFSAN's 2004, work plan. The work plan will set forth the center's 
program priorities for October 1, 2003, through September 30, 2004. FDA 
intends to make the 2004 work plan available in the fall of 2003.
    The format of the 2004 work plan will be similar to last year's 
work plan. FDA expects there will be considerable continuity and 
followthrough between the 2003 and 2004 work plans. For example, new 
initiatives aimed at increasing the security of our country's food 
supply and revitalizing our nutrition program will continue to be a 
high priority in FY 2004.
    FDA is in the process of developing a major strategic plan and has 
identified the following five top priority areas for the agency: (1) A 
strong FDA; (2) efficient risk management; (3) patient and consumer 
safety; (4) better informed consumers; and (5) counter-terrorism. 
Action items implementing the strategic plan will be incorporated into 
CFSAN's priorities for FY 2004.
    As noted in the previous paragraphs, many of the ``B-list'' 
activities are 2-year projects that we are positioning to be candidates 
for the ``A-list'' next year.

[[Page 33728]]

 FDA requests comments on which ``B-list'' activities should be 
elevated to the ``A-list'' for completion in 2004. Finally, as noted, 
FDA requests comments on new program areas or activities that should be 
added as a high priority for FY 2004.

III. Comments

    Interested persons may submit to the Dockets Management Branch (see 
ADDRESSES) written or electronic comments regarding this document. 
Submit a single copy of electronic comments or two paper copies of any 
mailed comments, except that individuals may submit one paper copy. 
Comments are to be identified with the docket number found in brackets 
in the heading of this document. Received comments may be seen in the 
office between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday through Friday.

    Dated: May 28, 2003.
Jeffrey Shuren,
Assistant Commissioner for Policy.
[FR Doc. 03-14106 Filed 6-4-03; 8:45 am]