FDA begins major hiring initiative

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The FDA is attempting to hire more than 1,300 biologists, chemists, medical officers, mathematical statisticians, investigators, inspectors and other professionals by Sept. 30, the end of its fiscal year.

Approximately 600 new positions remain to be filled at a time when congressional lawmakers have been pressuring the agency to increase inspections, improve IT systems and hire staff for other purposes. The agency also cited the need to carry out responsibilities increased by the FDA Amendments Act of 2007, the Food Protection Plan and the Import Safety Action Plan.

“Each month there is a delay in bringing critical staff on board impairs the agency's ability to fulfill this mission,” said John Dyer, FDA's deputy commissioner for operations and chief operating officer.

The FDA said it will hold job fairs around the country to recruit needed professionals and has 15 scheduled between May 15 and Sept. 16.