In his weekly address, President Barack Obama announced the appointments of Dr. Margaret Hamburg as Commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, and Dr. Joshua Sharfstein as the Principal Deputy Commissioner, as well as the creation of a new Food Safety Working Group.
This Food Safety Working Group will be chaired by the Secretaries of Health and Human Services and the Department of Agriculture and it will coordinate with other agencies and senior officials to advise the President on improving coordination throughout the government, examining and upgrading food safety laws, and enforcing laws that will keep the American people safe.
In addition, the President also announced two other measures to protect the American people. The Department of Agriculture will close a loophole to prevent diseased cows from entering the food supply. And, the government will invest in the FDA to substantially increase the number of food inspectors and modernize food safety labs.
The appointments’ bios follow:
Margaret “Peggy” Hamburg
Dr. Hamburg is a nationally and internationally recognized leader in public health and medicine, and an authority on global health, public health systems, infectious disease, bioterrorism, and emergency preparedness. She served as the Nuclear Threat Initiative’s founding Vice President for the Biological Program. Before joining NTI, she was the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Prior to this, she served for 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.
Joshua “Josh” Sharfstein
Dr. Joshua M. Sharfstein is Commissioner of Health for the City of Baltimore. He also serves as chair of the board of four affiliated nonprofit agencies. He has been recognized as a national leader for his efforts to protect children from unsafe jewelry and over-the-counter medication, and ensuring Americans with disabilities have access to prescription drugs. He is a member of the Board on Population Health and Public Health Practice of the Institute of Medicine.