Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Top U.S. regulator pledges to revamp food safety

Source of Article:


by Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar

WASHINGTON - President Barack Obama’s choice to oversee food and drug safety pledged on Thursday to revamp protection of the nation's food supply to help prevent future disease outbreaks.

Dr. Margaret Hamburg, a bioterrorism expert who once served as New York City health commissioner, breezed through her confirmation hearing before the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions committee, with no senators expressing opposition.

Hamburg, 53, said she wants to restore public confidence in the Food and Drug Administration by putting science first and running an open and accountable operation.

The Senate is expected to vote on her nomination within two weeks. If confirmed, Hamburg’s most immediate task will be to oversee development of a vaccine for the new swine flu. She said food safety will be her major continuing project.

“The agency is facing a range of new and daunting challenges,” Hamburg told senators. “These include the globalization of food and drug production, the emergence of new and complex medical technologies and the risk of adulteration or deliberate terror attacks on our food and drug supplies.”





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