Food Safety Advocates Criticize Bush Administration
During a discussion panel of food safety experts at the Consumer Federation of America conference yesterday, Rhona Applebaum, executive vice president for scientific and regulatory affairs for the National Food Processors Association "offered harsh" criticism of the Bush administration for failing to appoint a new FDA commissioner, CongressDaily/AM reports. Applebaum added that the administration also has not appointed the Agriculture Department undersecretary for food safety or found a successor for the current Food Safety and Inspection Service administrator. She said that the administration's record on food safety in its first 100 days has focused solely on evaluating the Clinton administration's policies. Although "it is good to review" the previous administration's policies, "there's a clock ticking," Applebaum said, adding that 100 days is "a long time" in the business world. Food safety advocate Carol Tucker Foreman, who recently "tangled" with the administration over the tolerance for salmonella in hamburgers for the school lunch program, said that the first 100 days of the Bush administration are "better" than the Clinton administration's first 100 days. However, she added that the Clinton administration eventually did "more than all the presidents since Teddy Roosevelt combined" on food safety. Roosevelt signed the first pure food and drug and meat inspection laws (Hagstrom, CongressDaily/AM, 5/1).