‘Critical that CFSAN has a scientist at the helm’: Industry welcomes new center leader

By Stephen Daniells

- Last updated on GMT

‘Critical that CFSAN has a scientist at the helm’: Industry welcomes new center leader

Related tags Public health Nutrition

Dr Susan Mayne will replace Michael Landa at the FDA’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, with dietary supplement industry leaders welcoming the appointment of a scientist.

Dr Mayne is currently the C.-E.A. Winslow Professor of Epidemiology and Chair, Department of Chronic Disease Epidemiology at the Yale School of Public Health, as well as Associate Director of Yale Cancer Center. She is an internationally recognized public health leader and scientist, who is also known as an outstanding administrator and coalition builder, said the FDA in a statement.

Her areas of scientific research include the complex role of food, nutrition, and obesity, and other health behaviors, as determinants of chronic disease risk.

‘A scientist leading a scientific agency’

Dr Daniel Fabricant, CEO of the Natural Products Association and former director of the division of dietary supplement programs at the agency, told us that it was good that the center will have a scientist as its director.

Dr Fabricant also recognized the work of the outgoing director, who has been at CFSAN since 2010. Landa, who is an attorney, did a lot to the agency, said Dr Fabricant, but it would be good to have a scientist at the helm starting in January, he said.

“She brings credibility, energy and focus,” ​he said. “It’s good for everyone having someone who can engage the public on the science because it’s a scientific agency.”

Steve Mister, president & CEO of the Council for Responsible Nutrition, told us: "We’re heartened to see FDA is filling this position prior to Michael Landa’s retirement so there will be a smooth transition of leadership, and we hope it’s a signal that the agency will soon be filling the positions underneath that have been vacant for quite some time.”


Susan Mayne, PhD CFSAN
Susan Mayne, PhD

Dr Mayne’s 26-year career includes two consecutive terms on the Food and Nutrition Board of the National Academy of Sciences, and also a 5-year term on the Board of Scientific Counselors for the U.S. National Cancer Institute.

“She has also been a leader on issues of critical importance to FDA and public health, such as the role of diet, nutrition and obesity in chronic disease risk,”​ said the FDA. “Indeed, in recent years, Mayne has addressed difficult problems, like the use of biomarkers in nutrition research, dose-response relationships for nutrients in disease, the healthfulness of foods being marketed to children, and worked closely with other agencies like USDA on developing practical applications of research.”

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