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FDA to address Washington Public Policy Conference

By Tom Karst | The Packer

The Washington Public Policy Conference is two for two in grabbing high-profile Obama administration officials as speakers for the Sept. 9-11 event.

FDA to address Washington Public Policy Conference


Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Margaret Hamburg will speak at the United Fresh Produce Association's annual event on Sept. 11. She joins agriculture secretary Tom Vilsack, who is scheduled to speak to conference attendees on Sept. 10.

FDA to address Washington Public Policy Conference


"We're really pleased to have both secretary Vilsack and commissioner Hamburg at the conference," said Ray Gilmer, vice president of communications for the Washington, D.C.-based association.

Given the focus of Congress on food safety issues — the House passed a bill and the Senate may soon turn its attention to food safety legislation — Gilmer said Vilsack and Hamburg will provide timely information.

"It's a great opportunity to go straight to the top and see what these people are thinking," Gilmer said.

Gilmer said about 425 people are registered to attend, a record, and 75 more than with last year.

"I think it's an indication that these issues are really moving to the front burner for so many of our members," he said.

Hamburg's work with the White House Food Safety Working Group and the recent publication of commodity-specific guidelines for tomatoes, melons and leafy greens are likely to be topics of her speech, said United Fresh president Tom Stenzel, in a news release.

Stenzel said United Fresh is committed to working with the FDA and lawmakers to pass science-based food safety legislation.

Hamburg was appointed by President Obama in March and previously worked with the National Institute of Mental Health, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease, and most recently with the Nuclear Threat Initiative, according to the release.


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