Senate squeak: Caliph confirmed to head FDA

Robert Caliph was strongly approved to head the Office of Food and Drug Administration, which gave the agency a commissioner approved by the Senate for the first time in a year.

Four Democrats and independent Bernie Sanders joined a majority of Republican members in the vote against the nomination of Caliphwho was confirmed 89-4 to head the FDA for about a year during the Obama administration.

The objections focused on Caliph’s ties to the pharmaceutical industry and his role in the regulation of abortion drugs, as well as on what some perceived as a lack of firm commitment to resolving the opioid crisis.

Sen. Ed Markie, D-Mass., Said Caliph had not promised at the meeting “the decisive and comprehensive action we need after years of agency failure and in the midst of a worsening opioid epidemic.”

Senator Joe Manchin of DW.V. also opposed the nomination. “Despite his intention to revise FDA policies, during his tenure and immediately after, the FDA approved five new opiates for the market, ”removing only one,” he said.

And Sen. Steve Danes, R-Mont., Said Caliph “has a track record of putting the abortion agenda on top of science.”

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But Senator Patti Murray, chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, which approved Calif. 13-8’s candidacy, said “at this critical time we need a trusted hand to head the FDA” and said Calif was well qualified. , given his previous experience as an agency manager and reputation as a leading research scientist.

His agenda will include a number of issues important to the agri-food industry, such as the regulation of FDA products created using animal biotechnology, which industries would like to see streamlined if not completely removed from the FDA’s remit.

The FDA must also decide if manufacturers can label products as “healthy,“that is now being done for about 5% of all pre-packaged food. The agency too due to the revision of new safety rules for water used for growing productsand considers withdrawing health claims stating that soy protein intake may help reduce the risk of coronary heart disease

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