John James Zaic, 89, an executive of the Food and Drug Administration who retired in 1980 as interim deputy director of international affairs, died June 14 at Holy Cross Hospital. He had cancer.

Mr. Zaic, who lived in Silver Spring, was born in Minnesota and graduated from St. John's University there. He attended George Washington University Law School.

He began his FDA career in Washington after passage of the Food and Drug Act of 1938 but was soon transferred to New York, where he was a tea examiner and food inspector.

During World War II, Mr. Zaic served in the Navy in the Pacific.

After the war, he returned to the New York office of the FDA, where his work involved imports to the Port of New York. In 1973, he was reassigned to Washington in the FDA's office of international affairs.

His avocations included gardening.

His wife of 52 years, Mary Ann Kelley Zaic, died in 1989.

Survivors include seven children, John K. Zaic of Maywood, N.J., Allan J. Zaic of Silver Spring, Brian J. Zaic of Lorton, Jerome F. Zaic of Mount Laurel, N.J., Daniel F. Zaic of Washington, Ann Hughes St. Clair of Housatonic, Mass., and Catherine Mary Zaic of Burtonsville; two sisters; 12 grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.