FDA Chief Resigns

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One of the longest-tenured Food and Drug Administration (FDA) chiefs will resign in March, the agency announced Friday.

According to the Associated Press, Margaret Hamburg announced her resignation to FDA staff via email Thursday after six years as the agency’s helm. Hamburg was appointed by President Barack Obama in 2009. A doctor from New York, Hamburg, 59, previously served as the New York City health commissioner and is a bioterrorism expert who studied neuroscience and AIDS research.

Stephen Ostroff, the FDA’s chief scientist, will serve as acting head of FDA when Hamburg vacates the position.

The AP reported that under Hamburg’s leadership, the agency was more active regulating food policy that it had been since nutrition labeling rules were enacted in the 1990s, phasing out trans fat, proposing updates to nutrition facts on food packages, and requiring restaurants and food retailers to label calories on menus.

"At the heart of all of these accomplishments is a strong commitment to science as the foundation of our regulatory decision-making and of our integrity as an agency," Hamburg wrote in her resignation email.

As Hamburg announces her resignation, the FDA also announced last week that Robert Califf, MD, a cardiologist from Duke University, would take the agency’s No. 2 leadership position.