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Open Recommendations

Food Safety: FDA Should Finalize Plans to Implement Its Rule to Help Trace Source of Outbreaks

GAO-24-106563
Jan 18, 2024
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1 Open Recommendations
Agency Affected Recommendation Status
Food and Drug Administration The FDA Commissioner should direct the Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition to finalize and document an implementation plan to help the agency achieve its regulatory goal of compliance with the food traceability rule by January 20, 2026. Such a plan should include FDA's resource needs, strategies for facilitating compliance with the rule, and detailed plans for communicating with and educating regulated entities, nonfederal regulatory partners, and FDA regulatory staff about the rule's requirements. (Recommendation 1)
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When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.

Dietary Guidelines for Americans: Strengthening Interagency Collaboration Could Help Inform Nutrition Research and Future Guidelines

GAO-24-106130
Nov 16, 2023
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2 Open Recommendations
Agency Affected Recommendation Status
Department of Health and Human Services The Secretary of Health and Human Services should ensure that the Assistant Secretary of Health—as co-chair of the Interagency Committee on Human Nutrition Research—fully incorporates seven leading interagency collaboration practices in order to better inform and prioritize DGA-related nutrition research. Actions to incorporate these practices could include ensuring that agency research plans are complementary and reflect the current desired outcomes and conducting an inventory of federal authorities, activities, and appropriations related to nutrition research that could inform the DGA development process. (Recommendation 1)
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When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.
Department of Agriculture The Secretary of Agriculture should ensure that the Under Secretary for Research, Education, and Economics—as co-chair of the Interagency Committee on Human Nutrition Research—fully incorporates seven leading interagency collaboration practices in order to better inform and prioritize DGA-related nutrition research. Actions to incorporate these practices could include ensuring that agency research plans are complementary and reflect the current desired outcomes and conducting an inventory of federal authorities, activities, and appropriations related to nutrition research that could inform the DGA development process. (Recommendation 2)
Open
When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.

Sugar Program: Alternative Methods for Implementing Import Restrictions Could Increase Effectiveness

GAO-24-106144
Oct 31, 2023
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3 Open Recommendations
Agency Affected Recommendation Status
Department of Agriculture The Secretary of Agriculture should evaluate the effectiveness of the WTO raw sugar tariff-rate quota allocation method versus other tariff-rate quota allocation methods to determine which would most effectively maintain an adequate sugar supply and minimizes costs to the government. (Recommendation 1)
Open
When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.
Office of the U.S. Trade Representative The U.S. Trade Representative should evaluate alternative WTO raw sugar tariff-rate quota allocation and reallocation methods to determine their consistency with international obligations and U.S. law, and whether they have any foreign policy implications. (Recommendation 2)
Open
When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.
Office of the U.S. Trade Representative The U.S. Trade Representative should use its completed evaluation and USDA's completed evaluation of WTO raw sugar tariff-rate quota allocation methods to determine whether they should continue using the current method, or select an alternative method. (Recommendation 3)
Open
When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.

School Meals: USDA Should Address Challenges in Its “Foods in Schools” Program

GAO-23-105697
Jul 14, 2023
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3 Open Recommendations
Agency Affected Recommendation Status
Department of Agriculture The Secretary of Agriculture should develop a mechanism to routinely and systematically identify and address challenges to operating the USDA Foods in Schools program. For example, the agency could add relevant questions to the annual School Meals Operations Study, and create and implement a plan to address findings. (Recommendation 1)
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USDA agreed with this recommendation and said it has made significant efforts to identify and address challenges in the USDA Foods in Schools program. For example, the agency said it has conducted listening sessions with stakeholders and initiated actions based on the feedback. USDA also said it has used surveys and other formal research to inform the agency's priorities regarding the USDA Foods in Schools program. USDA said it will continue to engage with partner organizations to identify areas of concern and solutions. By September 30, 2024, USDA said it will identify and document additional opportunities to routinely and systematically collect information on challenges pertaining to USDA Foods in Schools, whether through existing data collections or new opportunities. We will monitor the progress of these efforts.
Department of Agriculture The Secretary of Agriculture should ensure that the Administrator of FNS establishes guidelines for timely communication with states on the USDA Foods in Schools program. For example, the guidelines could distinguish response times regarding specific orders and general policy questions. (Recommendation 2)
Open
USDA agreed with this recommendation. The agency said it would seek input from state agencies about the best way to meet their needs regarding communication for USDA Foods in Schools. USDA also said its Food and Nutrition Service and Agricultural Marketing Service would work jointly to ensure communication is as timely as possible and develop guidelines for response times by September 30, 2024. We will monitor the progress of these efforts and await the establishment of guidelines.
Department of Agriculture The Secretary of Agriculture should ensure that the Administrator of FNS systematically identifies and shares promising practices and lessons learned with states related to the USDA Foods in Schools program, for example, by creating a repository or toolkit on the agency's public website that is accessible to all states. (Recommendation 3)
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USDA agreed with this recommendation. The agency said it supports a variety of efforts to facilitate the sharing of promising practices through promoting state interaction and communication. By September 30, 2024, USDA said it will assess the multitude of resources available on the USDA Foods in Schools program and include additional resources as needed. USDA said it will also ensure those same resources are available in a repository on the public website. We will monitor the progress of these efforts.