International Dairy Foods Association Names Joseph Scimeca to New Role as Senior Vice President, Regulatory and Scientific Affairs

WASHINGTON—The International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA) announced today that Joseph Scimeca, Ph.D., has been named senior vice president, regulatory and scientific affairs. Scimeca comes to IDFA after serving for 16 years with Cargill Inc., most recently as the company’s vice president of global regulatory and scientific affairs. He has a 33-year career in the global food, beverage and dairy industries, holding leadership positions with Kraft Foods Inc., The Pillsbury Company, and General Mills. A food safety expert and toxicologist by training, Scimeca is a member of the International Union of Food Science and Technology, the Society of Toxicology, the Association of Food & Drug Officials, the Institute of Food Technologists, and sits on several boards and committees across the food and beverage industries. He has authored nearly 40 peer-reviewed scientific papers, monographs, and book chapters. (full bio)

IDFA’s Regulatory Affairs team provides guidance and consultation to IDFA members in the areas of food safety, food defense, federal standards of identity, labeling, nutrition policy, sustainability, and environmental and worker safety. In this new role, Scimeca succeeds Cary Frye, IDFA’s current senior vice president of regulatory affairs, who will retire in June after a 35-year career.

“Joe brings a tremendous level of experience with scientific and regulatory standards that is needed today to help the U.S. dairy industry continue to innovate to meet growing consumer demands in the areas of nutrition, food safety, health and wellness, and sustainability,” said Michael Dykes, D.V.M., President & CEO of IDFA. “Joe has proven himself time and again to be a capable, strategic leader who understands how to inspire teams and deliver results. I am confident that with Joe’s leadership on regulatory issues, IDFA is better positioned than ever to make a difference for our members.”

IDFA’s Regulatory Affairs team oversees the association’s engagement with the federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and globally with the UN agencies and the Codex Alimentarius. IDFA experts in regulatory affairs are called to testify before the U.S. Congress, give verbal comments and testimony to federal agencies, and work collaboratively with regulators at state, federal and international levels to help shape regulatory policies that impact how dairy foods and beverages are produced and processed in the United States and marketed throughout the world. 

“I am tremendously excited about the opportunity to join the IDFA team and to provide strategic regulatory and scientific affairs leadership for a rapidly evolving and technologically advancing dairy industry,” said Scimeca.

American dairy products are known throughout the world for safety, quality, affordability and consistency. But dairy is one of the most regulated industries in the United States, with more than one-third of all food standards of identity governing dairy products. The key is finding the right balance between regulation and innovation—and that’s where IDFA excels for its members. IDFA believes standards and regulations play an important role in ensuring food safety, quality and consistency, but burdensome rules can stifle innovation and capital investments, hinder job creation and reduce U.S. competitiveness in the global marketplace.

Under Scimeca’s leadership, IDFA will continually advocate for practical and modern regulations that protect consumers while allowing innovation and growth in the dairy industry.

Scimeca began his role with IDFA on Monday, March 2nd, to allow time to overlap with Frye before her retirement.

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The International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA), Washington, D.C., represents the nation’s dairy manufacturing and marketing industry, which supports more than 3 million jobs that generate $159 billion in wages and $620 billion in overall economic impact. IDFA’s diverse membership ranges from multinational organizations to single-plant companies, from dairy companies and cooperatives to food retailers and suppliers, all on the cutting edge of innovation and sustainable business practices. Together, they represent 90 percent of the milk, cheese, ice cream, yogurt and cultured products, and dairy ingredients produced and marketed in the United States and sold throughout the world. Delicious, safe and nutritious, dairy foods offer unparalleled health and consumer benefits to people of all ages.