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Caren Wilcox is the former executive director of the Organic Trade Association (2006 – 2008) and currently operates her own strategic planning business, Caren Wilcox & Associates LLC. From 1997 to 2001 she served as deputy under secretary for food safety of the USDA, where she oversaw the implementation of HACCP-PR Program of the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) in over 6000 meat and poultry plants. She also was a senior advisor on agriculture and food safety to Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro when Representative DeLauro became the ranking member of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration and Related Agencies, which Rep. DeLauro now chairs. She has worked on voluntary and mandatory HACCP since she served on the Safety and Quality Oversight Committee at Hershey Foods Corporation.

From peanuts and pistachios to spinach and tomatoes–product recalls in the last few years have had a huge impact on many user companies marketing both conventional and organic products, and have led directly to widespread calls for improvements in U.S. food safety laws.  The U.S. House of Representatives has already passed new legislation, and while the Senate has not yet acted, it appears almost certain that a new food safety law will pass some time during this congressional term.  As the organic community awaits the outcome of proposed legislation, there are food safety principles, detailed further below, that you can

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