WASHINGTON – The Environmental Working Group today applauded the Senate for confirming President Joe Biden’s nomination of Dr. Robert Califf to be the next commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration. The vote was 50 to 46.
Califf previously served as FDA chief in the last year of the Obama administration, when he was instrumental in pushing the agency to address toxic chemicals in a number of consumer products.
The following is a statement from EWG’s Senior Vice President for Government Affairs Scott Faber:
EWG applauds the Senate for confirming Robert Califf as the next FDA commissioner. During his previous tenure as the head of the FDA, Dr. Califf demonstrated his understanding of the risks that toxic chemicals in personal products, sunscreens and food packaging pose to our health.
We urge Dr. Califf to immediately ban the use of the ‘forever chemicals’ known as PFAS in food packaging and cosmetics, set tough standards for toxic metals in baby food, quickly ban the use of formaldehyde in hair-straightening products, require companies to test their talc-based cosmetics for asbestos, and expedite the agency’s review of chemicals like oxybenzone in sunscreens.
For far too long, the FDA has turned a blind eye to a number of serious problems facing consumers, from products contaminated with asbestos to the use of toxic PFAS chemicals in food packaging and cosmetics. Dr. Califf has an opportunity to set the agency on a course that puts public health first.
The Environmental Working Group is a nonprofit, non-partisan organization that empowers people to live healthier lives in a healthier environment. Through research, advocacy and unique education tools, EWG drives consumer choice and civic action.