The USDA and FDA have announced a formal agreement designed to make food oversight more efficient by increasing cooperation between the two agencies.

Currently, the USDA oversees most meat, poultry and catfish products, as well as some egg products. The FDA oversees other foods such as dairy, seafood, produce, and packaged foods. Those divisions mean that certain food processors are subject to dual regulatory requirements from both agencies. The new agreement is aimed at identifying ways that regulations and inspections for dual-jurisdiction facilities can be streamlined without sacrificing safety.

The agreement also calls for both agencies to find ways to align their regulatory approaches to biotechnology as they meet the requirements of the National Strategy for Modernizing the Regulatory System for Biotechnology Products and the Task Force on Agriculture and Rural Prosperity Report. In addition, the agreement commits the FDA and the USDA to work toward enhanced collaboration and cooperation on produce safety activities.