The USDA’s top food safety officials are for the first time making public the names of consumer and industry representatives they meet with during separate monthly meetings.

The meetings on Nov. 14 included Carmen Rottenberg, acting deputy Under Secretary for Food Safety, and Paul Kiecker, acting administrator of the Food Safety and Inspection Service.

Disclosure of the expected attendance lists came as an attachment to the just-released FSIS public calendar for November. During former FSIS Administrator Alfred “Al” Almanza’s decade-long tenure, names of individuals attending the consumer and industry meetings were not disclosed.

Both meetings allowed attendees to participate in person at FSIS headquarters in Washington D.C., or via teleconference. The session with consumer representatives was the smaller of the two meetings, with six attending in person and four on the phone.

Here’s who was signed up representing consumers’ interests:

In-person attendance
Thomas Gremillion, Consumer Federation of America
Tony Corbo, Food and Water Watch
Will Wallace, Consumers Union
Jack Barnett, Consumers Union
Jaydee Hanson, Center for Food Safety
Elise Ackley, Pew Charitable Trusts

Teleconference Attendance
Pat Buck, Center for Foodborne Illness Research and Prevention
Deirdre Schlunegger, STOP Foodborne Illness
Felicia Nestor, Food and Water Watch
Tanya Roberts, Center for Foodborne Illness Research and Prevention

Later the same day, the room was more crowded for the industry meeting with 14 people signed up to attend in person and 25 via the teleconference:

In-person Attendance
John Dillard, OFW Law
Betsy Booren, OFW Law
Lia Biondo, Western Skies Strategies
Tiffany Lee, North American Meat Institute
Laurie Bryant, Meat Import Council of America Inc.
Hilary Thesmar, Food Marketing Institute
Bob Hibbert, Lewis & Bockius LLP
Brett Schwemer, OFW Law
Ferd Hoefner, National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition
Juan Pio Hernandez, Allen F. Johnson & Associates
Keith Day, Twin Rivers Foods
Brian Eyink, Hogan Lovells U.S. LLP
Will Crosby, National Turkey Federation
Tori Ahlmeyer, National Turkey Federation

Teleconference Attendance
Ken Mastracchio, North American Meat Institute
Brian Sylvester, Heckman LLP
Jessica Wasserman, Wasserman & Associates
Casey Wooton, Triumph Foods
Kathy Simmons, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association
Charles Link, Cargill
Norm Robertson, North American Meat Institute
Randy Green, United Egg Association
Michael Bradley, Smithfield Foods
Kristin Lindahl, Cargill
Charlotte Waller, Virginia Poultry Growers Co-op
Stacey Grant, Keystone Foods
Bryan Miller, Wayne Farms LLC
Dan Kovich, National Pork Producers Council
Suzanne Finstad, Tyson Foods
Cheyenne McEndaffer, U.S. Meat Export Federation
Lindsay Cammel, U.S. Meat Export Federation
Travis Arp, U.S. Meat Export Federation
Thad Lively, U.S. Meat Export Federation
Paul Clayton, U.S. Meat Export Federation
Katie Hanigan, Smithfield Foods
Lisa Weddig, National Fisheries Institute
Lisa Wallenda Picard, National Turkey Federation
Oscar Garrison, United Egg Producers

Also on the calendar
The FSIS public calendar for November shows Rottenberg had seven other meetings with people outside the federal government. Kiecker did two sessions with outsiders on his own.

Kiecker on Nov. 1 gave a regulatory update to the National Chicken Council’s Board of Directors meeting. The next day, he met with Cargill’s Daniel Etzler about Canadian exports.

Rottenberg and Kiecker jointly met with officials from Mexico’s National Service for Plant and Animal Health (SENASICA) on Nov. 13 for a “Meet and Greet.”

On Nov. 14, the two interim leaders met with Brad Respess and Terry Bruce Sr., from Tip Top Poultry about “export concerns.” They also huddled with Johnsonville Sausage representatives about “Salmonella and establishment operations.”

Rottenberg met with congressional staff about Netherlands egg products and with Randy Russell of the Russell Group about Codex issues, both on Nov. 16.

Michael Gilsdorf from the National Association of Federal Veterinarians met with Rottenberg and Kiecker on Nov. 20 about recruitment and retention of the FSIS veterinary workforce.

Finally, Rottenberg discussed Brazil with Agri-Pulse reporter Bill Tomson on Nov. 21.

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