Ostroff to Retire From FDA; Walmart Exec to Take His Place

Stephen Ostroff, M.D., deputy commissioner for foods and veterinary medicine at the Foods and Drug Administration, will retire in January, and Frank Yiannas, vice president of food safety for Walmart, will join the agency in November in the new role of deputy commissioner for food policy and response. Yiannis, an expert in the use of blockchain...
Dr. Stephen Ostroff (left) and Frank Yiannas

Stephen Ostroff, M.D., deputy commissioner for foods and veterinary medicine at the Foods and Drug Administration, will retire in January, and Frank Yiannas, vice president of food safety for Walmart, will join the agency in November in the new role of deputy commissioner for food policy and response. Yiannis, an expert in the use of blockchain technology, will lead the continuing implementation of the Food Safety Modernization Act and advise FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, M.D., on food safety and supply chain issues.

Dr. Stephen Ostroff

Ostroff was a strong and consistent partner of IDFA during his three-year tenure as FDA’s deputy commissioner of food and veterinary medicine.

“Dr. Ostroff brought extensive experience and leadership to the agency and he has been a partner for making progress on our shared goals, which are to protect public health and provide quality dairy products,” said Michael Dykes, D.V.M., IDFA president and CEO. “We’ve been delighted to have worked with him to make progress for dairy.”

Ostroff regularly addressed the industry as a speaker at IDFA’s Regulatory RoundUP and Dairy Forum, and this year traveled to view dairy processing first hand at Dean Foods Company’s Mayfield Dairy plant in Athens, Tenn.

“Our regulatory team greatly appreciated the opportunity to work with Dr. Ostroff and FDA staff on a number of key issues. These included obtaining regulatory discretion for the use of ultra-filtered milk as a cheese ingredient, as well as launching a pilot program to improve efficiency of Food Safety Modernization Act inspections at dairy processing facilities,” said Cary Frye, IDFA senior vice president of regulatory affairs. “We’re thankful to have been a proactive collaborator with the agency and Dr. Ostroff and look forward to continuing this dialogue at FDA.”

Frank Yiannas

Frank Yiannas, vice president of food safety for Walmart, will join FDA next month and in January replace Ostroff. Yiannis is well known in the food industry as a pioneer in the use of blockchain technology, a digital ledger of transactions, to create a more transparent and traceable food system. His new position will include a focus on addressing issues of supply chain security and the use of new tracking technology, recall effectiveness and traceback investigation processes.

“We’re excited that Frank Yiannis will be joining FDA in this new role,” said Dykes. “We’re looking forward to partnering with him on important issues to dairy companies, as well as working together to build on our industry’s excellent track record for making safe and nutritious dairy products.”

Yiannis partnered this summer with IDFA in a webinar designed to help dairy foods companies understand blockchain technology and learn the consumer, production and profitability benefits of applying its principles.

He is also slated to speak to dairy leaders again at the upcoming Dairy Forum 2019, Jan. 20-23 in Orlando, Florida. IDFA will provide session updates to members as Yiannis transitions into his new role.

For more information, contact Frye at cfrye@idfa.org.

Source: www.idfa.org