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Food Safety News

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Under Secretary for Food Safety

Letter From The Editor: Fill USDA’s top food safety posts now


UPDATED: So far,  so good. Secretary Perdue has named, on a temporary basis,  two USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) career employees to the top jobs. Paul Kiecker is acting FSIS administrator and Carmen Rottenberg is acting deputy undersecretary for food safety. A couple days ago we ran Al Almanza official farewell message. He’s been… Continue Reading

Raymond to Perdue: Top food safety candidate is in your backyard

The pairing of Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue with Michael Doyle as USDA’s undersecretary for food safety might seem like a natural. Perdue is a former Georgia governor and Doyle is the University of Georgia’s Regents Professor of Food Microbiology. Doyle recently stepped down as the head of UGA’s Center for Food Safety, which he… Continue Reading

Top food safety job and others remain to be filled at USDA

With the somewhat tardy appointment of former Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue as secretary of agriculture combined with Senate Democrats taking their time with the confirmation process, there’s going to be a backup of some other important appointments at USDA and across the federal government. And the backup is occurring even though one man came close to… Continue Reading

Letter From the Editor: A 10-Year Term is the Vacancy Solution


It has been almost two years since Dr. Elisabeth Hagen stepped down as our most recent USDA under secretary for food safety. President Obama has not appointed, nor has the Senate confirmed, anyone to fill that vacancy since Hagen departed. It’s now also been 21 years since, on Oct. 19, 1994, President Bill Clinton signed the Agricultural… Continue Reading

USDA Names Acting Under Secretary for Food Safety

Food Safety News has learned that Brian Ronholm has been named acting under secretary for food safety at the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Brian Ronholm joined USDA in April 2011 as deputy under secretary for food safety. He previously served as an Agriculture Appropriations associate on the staff of Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT), managing issues… Continue Reading

Letter From the Editor: A 10-Year Term

Dr. Elisabeth Hagen is departing government in mid-December, again leaving America without a Senate-confirmed under secretary for food safety. How common are these periods when USDA is without an under secretary for food safety? More common than not, it seems. It was just over 19 years ago, on Oct. 19, 1994, that President Bill Clinton… Continue Reading

Top USDA Food Safety Nominee Clears Ag Committee

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) just might have an Under Secretary for Food Safety this grilling season. The Senate Agriculture Committee yesterday approved the nomination of Dr. Elisabeth Hagen to lead the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS), five months after President Obama announced the nomination, and 21 months after the last under… Continue Reading

Lincoln Survives Heated Primary Runoff

Chairwoman of the Senate Agriculture Committee Blanche Lincoln (D-AR) defeated labor-backed Arkansas Lt. Governor Bill Halter in a heated Democratic primary runoff Tuesday, bucking the notion that Lincoln might be the third Senate incumbent casualty of strong anti-Washington sentiment this year. Lincoln, a conservative Democrat, pulled ahead of Halter, a progressive, Moveon.org-supported candidate, winning 52… Continue Reading