FDA Commissioner Gottlieb to Quit

By Pan Demetrakakes, Senior Editor

Mar 05, 2019

Scott Gottlieb, the FDA commissioner who was one of the most active members of the Trump administration in preserving and promulgating regulatory initiatives, is resigning after two years in office. The resignation will be effective in about a month.

Sources told Fortune and other news outlets that Gottlieb was leaving because he had grown weary of commuting between his Connecticut home and Washington, D.C. He is apparently parting on good terms, with President Trump tweeting that he “has done an absolutely terrific job” and “will be greatly missed.”

How did Gottlieb fit into the Trump administration’s regulatory approach? See our assessment of Trump at the midpoint.

Gottlieb put forth several policy initiatives that seemed to go against the general anti-regulatory thrust of the Trump administration, including aggressive restrictions on e-cigarettes and approving a host of generic drugs. On the food front, he was noted for keeping in place initiatives that began under Barack Obama’s administration, including mandatory labeling for genetically modified organisms and an expanded Nutrition Facts panel. On his watch, the FDA also sent warning letters to makers of dietary supplements for allegedly making unwarranted health claims.

“He has gone forward with a number of initiatives that seem to indicate that when it comes to food safety, this is not a political issue with this administration,” Allen Sayler, a consultant and former FDA employee, told Food Processing.