Obama names FDA leaders,
creates food safety group
Mar 17, 2009 8:04 AM
President Barack Obama has appointed Dr. Margaret "Peggy" Hamburg as commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration and Dr. Joshua Sharfstein as principal deputy commissioner. The president also announced the creation of a new Food Safety Working Group.
This group, chaired by the Secretaries of Health and Human Services and the Department of Agriculture, will coordinate with other agencies and senior officials to advise Obama on improving coordination throughout the government, examining and upgrading food safety laws, and enforcing laws that will keep American citizens safe.
Obama also announced two other measures to protect citizens. The Department of Agriculture will close a loophole to prevent diseased cows from entering the food supply. The government will invest in the FDA to increase the number of food inspectors and modernize food safety labs.
Hamburg served as the Nuclear Threat Initiative’s founding vice president for the Biological Program. Before joining NTI, she was assistant secretary for Planning and Evaluation, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Before that, she served six years as the Commissioner of Health for the City of New York and as the assistant director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases of the National Institutes of Health.
Sharfstein is Commissioner of Health for the City of Baltimore. He also serves as chair of the board of four affiliated nonprofit agencies. He is a member of the Board on Population Health and Public Health Practice of the Institute of Medicine.
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