SILVER SPRING, MD. — Frank Yiannas, deputy commissioner for food policy and response at the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), shared he would resign his position on Feb. 24.
Yiannas stated in his resignation letter to FDA Commissioner Robert Califf that he first considered leaving the agency in February 2022.
He expressed concern that the “decentralized structure of the foods program that you and I both inherited, significantly impaired FDA’s ability to operate as an integrated food team and protect the public.”
However, Yiannas said he decided to postpone the decision to resign following the infant formula shortage that occurred during the early months of 2022.
Later in his letter, Yiannas said that the FDA should create “a more integrated operating structure and a fully empowered and experienced Deputy Commissioner for Foods, with direct oversight of those centers and offices responsible for human and animal foods.”
He added that the agency should transfer the Office of Food Policy and Response (OFPR) staff to a new office of the Deputy Commissioner for Foods.
Prior to moving to the FDA in 2018, Yiannas served as vice president, food safety and health at Walmart. He’s also been a long-time advocate of using blockchain technology to improve the food supply in the United States.
Yiannas played an important role in public outreach through the COVID-19 pandemic. About a month after the pandemic began, he answered several questions on about the current and future condition of the United States’ food supply in a public Q&A.
Yiannas’ entire resignation letter can be found here.
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