FDA Commissioner Margaret A. Hamburg, M.D., plans to step down at the end of March following six years as commissioner of the organization. The FDA’s chief scientist, Dr. Stephen Ostroff, will serve as acting commissioner following her departure. Hamburg did not cite a reason for leaving.
In a letter to colleagues, Hamburg said, “As you can imagine, this decision was not easy. My tenure leading this agency has been the most rewarding of my career, and that is due in no small part to all of you—the dedicated and hard-working people that make up the heart of this agency. While there is still work ahead (and there always will be), I know that I am leaving the agency well-positioned to fulfill its responsibilities to the American public with great success.” (Read the complete letter here.)
Grocery Manufacturers Association President and CEO Pamela G. Bailey commended Hamburg for her years of service.
“Under her leadership, the agency successfully ushered in the most sweeping set of reforms to our nation’s food safety system in a generation through the implementation of the Food Safety Modernization Act,” Bailey said. “She was an activist commissioner in the best sense of the term: personally engaged in the important issues and always seeking the views of all stakeholders.”