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Gottlieb confirmed as FDA commissioner

Dr. Scott Gottlieb was confirmed Tuesday by the Senate in a 57-42 vote to run the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Dr. Scott Gottlieb was confirmed Tuesday by the Senate in a 57-42 vote to run the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Gottlieb, a physician and venture capitalist, previously served as a deputy FDA commissioner during the George W. Bush administration. Before becoming the FDA’s Deputy Commissioner, Gottlieb served as a senior advisor to the FDA Commissioner and as the FDA’s Director of Medical Policy Development. While working for the FDA, Gottlieb had to recuse himself from working on planning for a possible avian influenza outbreak because he had done consulting work for companies whose products may be used to combat the bird flu.

Support from ag groups

At least two animal agriculture groups, the American Feed Industry Association (AFIA) and the National Turkey Federation (NTF) have spoken out in support of Gottlieb for FDA commissioner.

“Commissioner Gottlieb has an extensive medical resume, and AFIA plans to grow his awareness on animal food issues,” AFIA said in a statement. “Some of our primary goals involve working with the new commissioner to speed up ingredient approvals and lessen the regulatory burden presented by the Food Safety Modernization Act and Veterinary Feed Directive, two major rules that are in implementation periods. Both rules prove costly and complicated to the animal food industry, with the cost to benefit ratio lacking on the benefit side. AFIA hopes regulatory relief will be offered by the new administration and strongly believes we can achieve both ensuring feed/food safety for animals and consumers, as well as practical implementation requirements for the industry.

NTF said Gottlieb’s record is “promising for his support of judicious use of antibiotics and his statements in support of taking a balanced approach to addressing issues associated with antibiotics use.”

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