The second of the FDA’s top two food officers will resign from the agency on May 31.
Susan Mayne, director of the FDA’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (CFSAN) for eight years, said she will retire. Her departure will follow by three months that of Frank Yiannas, who was the FDA’s deputy commissioner for food policy and response.
“I wanted to share broadly that I am planning to retire on May 31, after having had the honor and privilege of serving as Director of the FDA Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (CFSAN) for the past 8+ years,” Mayne wrote on her LinkedIn page. “In reflecting back over this remarkable time, I am immensely proud of and humbled by what CFSAN has accomplished, as detailed in the Commissioner's Statement, along with having been one of the longest-serving, and only female, CFSAN Center Directors.”
While Mayne can point to some notable accomplishments during her time, especially her input into the 2011 Food Safety Modernization Act, she, like Yiannas, was criticized in an April 2022 expose by Politico. That report, coincidental to the baby formula crisis, detailed dysfunction in the FDA and alleged friction between Mayne and Yiannas, both of whom reported to the agency’s commissioner, especially on issues of food safety.
Her resignation comes as Commissioner Robert Califf announced a restructuring of its Human Foods program, the details of which have not been released. But there are indications there will be a single deputy commissioner over all food-related issues.
Califf said in an internal memo, which Mayne posted on her LinkedIn page, “Since joining FDA in January of 2015, Susan has provided skillful leadership to CFSAN’s over 1,100 dedicated employees and managed its budget of more than $400 million, helping to ensure the U.S. food supply is safe, healthy and properly labeled for consumers.”