Cal Dooley, the president of Food Products Association (FPA), has joined former US Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) Tommy Thompson in announcing the formation of the Coalition for a Stronger FDA, a broad-based coalition which will advocate renewed public commitment to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

“The safety and security of the food supply is the number one operating principle of the food industry,” Dooley said. “It is in the best interest of the public, food companies and policymakers in Washington and around the country that FDA remains strong and can carry out its food safety mandate as well as meet new challenges and emerging trends.”

The coalition will build public support and work with the Congress and the Bush Administration to ensure the FDA has sufficient resources to protect patients and consumers and maintain public confidence and trust in the FDA. The broad-based coalition consists of patient groups, consumer advocates and public health organisations and has the support of Thompson as well as former HHS secretaries Donna E. Shalala and Louis Sullivan.

Dooley added: “Since its inception, the food industry has worked cooperatively with the FDA, the world’s leading food safety agency, to ensure the safety of our food supply and protect public health, and we believe that FDA’s continued effectiveness is linked to sound public policy and adequate funding in the years ahead.”

Dooley is also CEO-elect of the GMA/FPA, the organisation that will be created by the merger of the Food Products Association and the Grocery Manufacturers Association, scheduled to become effective on 1 January 2007.