Two Top Ag and Food Safety Officials Stepping Down

Brian GermanAgri-Business, General

Within the same week, two of the country’s top agricultural and food safety officials each announced intentions to resign. Dr. Jewel H. Bronaugh will be resigning from her position as Deputy Secretary at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). Frank Yiannas will also be stepping down from his role as Deputy Commissioner of Food Policy and Response at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). In a statement, Bronaugh explained that she looks forward to spending more time with her family. Bronaugh had been confirmed for the position in May 2021 and already had a working history with Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack.

Food Safety

“Her service, presence and leadership will be sorely missed. She has been an incredible partner over the last two years, and she has been instrumental in helping the department seize opportunity and address a host of challenges. We are all deeply grateful for her service,” Secretary Vilsack said in a press release. “Deputy Secretary Bronaugh has accomplished a lot during her tenure at USDA and much of her work will be felt well into the future.”

Food Safety

At the same time, Frank Yiannas informed FDA Commissioner Dr. Robert Califf that he would be leaving his position as the department’s top food safety official, effective February 24. Yiannas has been working in his capacity at FDA since 2018. In his resignation letter, Yiannas points out that he had previously thought of leaving the agency last year due to the administrative structure which “significantly impaired the FDA’s ability to operate as an integrated food team and protect the public.”

Yiannas suggested that FDA could better protect the American public with “a more integrated operating structure and a fully empowered and experienced Deputy Commissioner for Foods.” A similar sentiment was highlighted in a recent report, that noted updating the leadership structure at FDA would allow for improved efficacy in protecting public health.

About the Author

Brian German

Facebook Twitter

Ag News Director, AgNet West